Giants Trade Odell Beckham Jr. To Browns, Reports Say

Ryan Chatelain
March 12, 2019 - 9:09 pm

What was that again about not signing Odell Beckham Jr. just to trade him, Dave Gettleman?

The Giants pulled off a stunner of a trade Tuesday night by dealing their three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple reports.

The Giants are receiving the Browns' first-round pick this year (17th overall), a third-round selection (95th overall) and safety Jabrill Peppers, who was a first-round pick in 2017.

“At this point, I have no idea what to think," Beckham told Kimberly Jones of WFAN and NFL Network of the trade. "I’m trying to process it right now.”

MORE: Report: Giants Bring Back 2-Time Pro Bowl Long Snapper Zak DeOssie

He added that leaving the Giants is "bittersweet, but it is what it is. It’s life.”

The trade closes out a roller-coaster five-year tenure for Beckham, 26, in New York, one that saw him put up prolific numbers and regularly dazzle on the field -- his leaping one-handed catch against the Cowboys in 2014 catapulted him into superstardom -- but also often create distractions. He sparred with then-Panther Josh Norman, pretended to be a peeing dog during a touchdown celebration, punched and later proposed marriage to a kicking net on the sideline, and also had starring roles in a controversial boat trip days before a playoff game and in a viral video with a woman and lines of a white powder.

After Beckham said he wanted to be the highest-paid player in the NFL, the Giants last August cast their concerns about his erratic behavior aside and made him the richest wide receiver at the time, signing him to a five-year contract worth $90 million plus incentives. But in an ESPN interview a couple of months later, Beckham couldn't answer a question about whether he was happy in New York. In that interview, he also criticized quarterback Eli Manning, suggesting he was holding Beckham back.

Since the season ended, Beckham has made several cryptic social media posts in response to rumors about his future with the Giants, leading many to believe there was something to them.

Meanwhile, Gettleman couldn't keep his story straight about whether he was looking into dealing Beckham. He told reporters more than once this offseason, "We didn’t sign Odell Beckham to trade him." But then when presented with an opportunity to definitively say he would not deal his star wideout, Gettleman declined to do so.

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Trading Beckham so soon after signing him to a megadeal will cost the Giants dearly. They'll have to eat $16 million in dead money against the salary cap this season, but will gain $5 million in cap room.

In his five years with the Giants, Beckham, the 12th overall draft pick in 2014 out of LSU, caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. Injuries prevented him from finishing each of the last two seasons. He broke his left ankle during a Week 5 game against the Chargers in 2017. And last season, he missed the final four games with a quad injury.

In 12 games in 2018, Beckham had 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns.

But despite having one of the top wide receivers in the game, the Giants did not experience much success with Beckham, producing losing seasons in four of his five years, including winning just eight games over the past two seasons.

The move is the latest in the Giants' roster overhaul under Gettleman. Since his arrival in December 2017, the team has parted ways with big-name talents such defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, cornerback Eli Apple, defensive tackle Damon Harrison and safety Landon Collins. And Giants fans are eagerly awaiting a definitive decision about the future of 38-year-old quarterback Eli Manning.

Peppers, the safety acquired in Tuesday's trade, gives Big Blue a young, up-and-coming defender. The 23-year-old Paramus Catholic High School (N.J.) product had 79 tackles, one interception, three fumble recoveries and a sack last season. He also returns kicks.