A long period of cute winks and knowing nudges from sportswriters and people within the Browns organization has eventually culminated in a certified blockbuster of an NFL trade: The Cleveland Browns are getting wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants, according to multiple NFL reporters.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but, it’s a pretty sweet time to be a Browns fan! Compared to the Antonio Brown deal, the team that went 7-8-1 last year gave up a decent package with that first-round pick and a young, promising starting safety. But the return for that pricetag is pretty damn exciting. Beckham has struggled with injuries the past couple of years—missing 12 games in 2017 with a fractured ankle and the final four games of 2018 with a quad contusion. But when healthy, he’s a dominant, thrilling figure on any offense. Paired with Baker Mayfield as the QB heads into a much-anticipated sophomore season, and joining a team already filled with weapons from Jarvis Landry to Nick Chubb to newly added Kareem Hunt whenever he can play, Beckham can make the Browns a whole lot of fun to watch.
From the Giants’ end, this deal felt inevitable. Beckham, a very talented player who picked up a huge extension from the franchise in 2018, has nevertheless served as kind of a scapegoat on a team that’s been pretty bad the past couple of seasons. Particularly last year, as the Giants went 5-11 under new head coach Pat Shurmur, Beckham did little to hide his distaste for the dysfunction around him, calling out his coach’s playcalling, storming off to the locker room before halftime in one blowout loss, and bluntly criticizing his teammates with Lil Wayne sitting next to him.
The change of scenery from New York to Cleveland should do Beckham good, and if the wideout is happy, it’ll certainly do the Browns a whole lot of good as they look to post a winning record for the first time since 2007. The Giants, however, are essentially punting to 2020 with this trade, and they’re still going to need to find a dang quarterback before they can really start to look to the future.