In one of the more surprising turns of events, the New York Giants have traded their Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr to the Cleveland Browns. The Giants will receive a first-round pick in 2019 (No. 17 overall), the Browns’ second third-round pick this year and safety Jabrill Peppers, according to ESPN.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 12, 2019
Beckham spent the first five seasons of his career with New York, who selected the wideout with the 12th pick of the 2014 NFL draft. He caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns through 59 games during his Giants tenure.
The Giants are in a clear rebuild now. Sending Beckham away signals their going in a different direction and will retool via the NFL draft.
With the Browns, Beckham will be reunited with receiver Jarvis Landry, a teammate at LSU. He’ll also give quarterback Baker Mayfield an elite target, and his arrival could vault the Browns, who went 7-8-1 last season after not winning a game in 2017, into legitimate championship contenders. The Browns haven’t made the playoffs since 2002.
The trade is the second major one involving a star wide receiver in four days as the Pittsburgh Steelers recently sent Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders.
While Beckham is immensely talented, there is some baggage as he can be temperamental and difficult. He also comes off an injury-plagued year. Before last season, he became the league’s highest-paid receiver with a five-year, $90 million contract extension.