Odell Beckham Jr.

Giants GM: “We Were Not Actively Shopping” OBJ

The Giants may have talked to several teams about Odell Beckham Jr. before pulling off a trade with the Browns, but general manager Dave Gettleman said he was “not actively shopping” the star wideout. Speaking to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, the executive discussed how the trade ultimately developed, noting that the receiver’s distractions (along with a hefty offer from Cleveland) made a trade more palatable.

“Obviously there’s a lot of stuff that factors in, but at the end of the day, in order for us to move Odell, the other team was going to have to knock it out of the park,’’ Gettleman said. “We were not actively shopping him.’’

The Browns apparently made an offer that grabbed the attention of the Giants, with New York receiving Cleveland’s first-round pick (No. 17 overall), third-round pick (95th overall), and young safety Jabrill Peppers. While the Giants never intended to trade Beckham when they signed him to a lucrative five-year, $95MM contract last August, the Browns’ offer was ultimately too good to refuse.

“Some have questioned why we signed Odell [last August] and then traded him,’’ Gettleman said. “We didn’t sign him to trade him but obviously things changed. Frankly, what changed is another team made an offer we couldn’t refuse. As it turned out, the fact he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and allowed us to get legitimate value.’’

Gettleman did acknowledge that he made one phone call regarding Beckham. Following the Bills’ failed pursuit of former Steelers wideout Antonio Brown, the Giants contacted Buffalo about a trade. The general managed said he also had “numerous conversations’’ with 49ers general manager John Lynch. Based on Gettleman’s assertions, we can only assume it was Lynch who contacted the Giants’ front office.

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AFC North Notes: Dennard, Browns, Steelers

Still unsigned, Darqueze Dennard remains an option for the Bengals. But the franchise looks to have given the cornerback a price point. The Bengals have not closed the door on a reunion with the sixth-year cornerback, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, but they have since signed B.W. Webb and retained some of their own free agents. The most recent negotiations between Dennard and the Bengals revealed a disconnect, with the team viewing him as strictly a slot cornerback — and one they may not consider paying at the top-market slot price Justin Coleman just reset with the Lions. Dennard’s camp came in with an offer north of what Coleman just signed, proposing a deal north of $10MM per year with the Bengals, Dehner reports, adding the corner’s representation never came back to the table with the Bengals. The team was willing to keep Dennard at around $8.5MM AAV, but that was before reaching a deal with Webb. The new Bengal corner played for first-year DC Lou Anarumo with the Giants.

Dennard was scheduled to visit the Chiefs this weekend. Shifting first to a higher-profile AFC North situation, here is the latest out of this division:

  • John Dorsey called Dave Gettleman on Monday to ask if Odell Beckham Jr. was indeed available. The Giants’ GM had twice said in 2019 he did not extend the wideout to trade him, but Gettleman told Dorsey he was, in fact, willing to move Beckham, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes. Dorsey had several Beckham trades planned, but Cabot adds the talks never included Emmanuel Ogbah or Duke Johnson. Both of those pre-Dorsey Browns investments are now on the trade block.
  • As for the player the Giants did obtain for Beckham, Jabrill Peppers profiled as one the Browns did not want to let go. Despite being a Sashi Brown-era draft choice, Dorsey wanted to keep the improving safety, per Cabot. But Cleveland’s second-year GM was not going to let Peppers stand in the way of acquiring Beckham. Gettleman was “adamant” about Peppers’ inclusion in this trade because of the Giants’ recent decision to let Landon Collins walk in free agency, Cabot adds. The Giants are planning a versatile role for the third-year safety. Peppers can be under Giants control through 2021 via the fifth-year option.
  • The Steelers‘ acquisition of Mark Barron will likely not preclude them from using another early-round pick on a linebacker, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac (on Twitter). Pittsburgh did not elect to devote significant resources to replacing Ryan Shazier last year but has used four first-round picks on linebackers since 2013 — Jarvis Jones, Shazier, Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt. Shazier’s unfortunate circumstances may again prompt the Steelers to use a first-round choice on an off-ball ‘backer.
  • Eli Rogers‘ latest Steelers contract is for two years, not one, the team announced. The auxiliary receiver may have a bigger role in Pittsburgh’s 2019 offense, considering Antonio Brown is out of the picture and Rogers is entering an offseason healthy. He tore an ACL in the Steelers’ 2017 divisional-round game and only played in three games last season.

Giants Wanted 49ers’ No. 2 Overall Pick For Odell Beckham Jr.

More consistently interested in acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. than the Browns, the 49ers again pursued the superstar wide receiver this offseason. But the Giants’ asking price was high.

The Giants wanted the 49ers’ No. 2 overall pick for Beckham, Jay Glazer of The Athletic reports (subscription required). The 49ers were not willing to deal that high-value selection away.

San Francisco had targeted Beckham during the 2018 offseason and then once the season started, per Glazer, but the Giants stood pat. They ended up acquiring the Browns’ Nos. 17 and 95 picks, along with Jabrill Peppers. Other teams with whom Glazer spoke categorized the Giants’ initial asking price as too high.

The 49ers’ lone receiver move this offseason has been Jordan Matthews, whom the Eagles picked up as a street free agent in September. Kyle Shanahan‘s team may be targeting a wideout with one of its non-first-round picks, or another via trade, but for now, its top targets remain Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis.

As for the Giants’ reasoning to deal one of the most talented players in franchise history, Glazer attributes the move to the team souring on its three-time Pro Bowl talent — at least, from an off-field perspective — and wanting to gear their offense more around Saquon Barkley. Pat Shurmur intervened last year to scuttle trade talks, and Beckham was on board with the new coach’s regime, Glazer adds. As the team started slowly, Beckham’s comments about Eli Manning had Shurmur “furious”, perhaps helping the Giants’ relationship with Beckham become, as Glazer describes, “fragmented” to the point the team was ready to move on.

With Beckham gone, the Giants now have Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard atop their wideout depth chart. The team will eat $16MM in dead money because of the Beckham deal. New York holds just more than $16MM in cap space currently.

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Final Terms Of Odell Beckham Jr. Trade

The trades of Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon were originally reported as separate moves, but the Browns and Giants have have each announced the acquisitions as one large transaction. Additionally, as Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com first reported, the fourth- and fifth-round picks that were originally part of the Vernon/Kevin Zeitler trade are no longer involved in the swap.

Here are the full terms of the stunning trade:

Browns acquire:

Giants acquire:

OBJ Notes: Manning, 49ers, Bills

In the deal of the day, the Giants sent Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns. In return, New York received a 2019 first-rounder (No. 17 overall), a 2019 third-rounder (No. 95), and safety Jabrill Peppers. This marks the end of an era for the Giants organization, and it also means the front office may be preparing for a full-on rebuild.

There have naturally been a number of Giants-centric and Beckham-focused notes since the deal was reported earlier this evening. We’ve compiled some of the more notable rumblings below…

  • The 49ers were among the teams that expressed interest in OBJ, writes ESPN’s Adam Schefter. San Francisco has been connected to several big-name playmakers, and the team could certainly use some additional weapons for Jimmy GaroppoloMarquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis currently lead the 49ers’ depth chart, and while the pair certainly have plenty of talent, the team could easily transform the duo into a trio.
  • The Bills also had discussions about Beckham, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo (on Twitter). Tim Graham of The Athletic clarifies (on Twitter) that the Giants approached Buffalo about a trade, not the other way around. It’s not entirely surprising that Buffalo was considering a premier wideout, especially after the team failed to complete an Antonio Brown deal. The Bills have already added two free agent wideouts in John Brown and Cole Beasley, but their additions probably wouldn’t have prevented the organization from adding a player of OBJ’s caliber.
  • Following the Beckham trade, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com explores whether the Giants will end up holding on to veteran quarterback Eli Manning. There’s no denying that the organization is rebuilding, as the team has also moved on from Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon. Ultimately, the writer opines that the pairing doesn’t make sense for either side; the Giants won’t want the one or two extra wins that Manning could provide, while the veteran quarterback surely doesn’t want to spend his last few years playing for a middling team. The Giants may have to make some kind of decision by Monday, when Manning is set to earn a $5MM roster bonus that counts for a portion of his $23MM cap hit.
  • We heard that Beckham may be seeking a new contract with the Browns, and it sounds like the two sides are already talking. Jason La Canfora tweets that “there has been contact” between the Browns and the receiver’s reps. The reporter attributes the negotiations to the “ramifications of the [Antonio Brown] contract,” noting that Beckham should look to capitalize on the trend of traded players securing guaranteed money.

Giants Trade Odell Beckham Jr. To Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. is finally on the move. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that the Giants are trading the wide receiver to the Browns.

It sound like New York has received a relative haul for their star receiver. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Giants will be receiving a 2019 first-rounder (No. 17 overall), a 2019 third-rounder (No. 95), and safety Jabrill Peppers. The deal will leave $16MM in dead money for the Giants, who inked the receiver to a five-year, $95 million contract ($65MM guaranteed) back in August. The move will open up $5MM in cap space, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

This would seem to be a relatively big haul for Beckham, especially when you consider what the Steelers recently received for Antonio Brown. While Brown is older and desired a new contract, Pittsburgh was still only able to fetch a third-round pick (No. 66 overall) and fifth-round pick (No. 141) from the Raiders. Of course; Beckham may also be seeking a new deal; NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the receiver is expected to ask Cleveland for a new contract.

There had been conflicting reports regarding Beckham’s availability in recent days. Despite general manager Dave Gettleman‘s consistent insistence that Beckham was not available, we learned yesterday that the Giants had been discussing a trade. We heard earlier today that an AFC North team was engaged in conversations with the Giants, and we’ve now learned that the team was Cleveland.

The Browns seemed like a relatively natural fit for Beckham and his $18MM salary. Despite signing Jarvis Landry to a lucrative deal last offseason, Cleveland’s front office was still hunting around for a big-name addition. The 26-year-old surely fits that bill, as he’ll team up with Landry, quarterback Baker Mayfield, and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to form one of the more talented offenses in the NFL.

The 26-year-old was still productive in 2018 despite missing four games due to a quad injury. In 12 games, Beckham hauled in 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns. The former first-rounder is all over the Giants all-time leaders list, with top-five appearances in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions.

While the focus of the trade will surround Beckham, Peppers is an intriguing inclusion in the deal. The former Michigan standout had spent the first two seasons of his career in Cleveland, including a 2018 campaign where he compiled 79 tackles, one sack, and five passes defended. While the 23-year-old hasn’t necessarily displayed the talent that earned him a first-round selection, he’s still an intriguing asset for the Giants. While the team recently added Antoine Bethea, Peppers could theoretically supplant Michael Thomas in the starting lineup.

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Latest On Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr.

An AFC North team is engaged in conversations with the Giants regarding Odell Beckham Jr., according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Beckham, she hears, remains available, despite the Giants’ previous denials.

Dave Gettleman‘s consistent insistence Beckham is not available has not stopped trade buzz, which has swirled around the superstar Giant for two offseasons.

If an AFC North team is in the running, one jumps out more than the others. The Browns are the most willing of these franchises to make big-splash outside additions, with the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers being more conservative regarding outside hires. Cleveland also has its rivals outflanked in cap space, and despite Jarvis Landry‘s 2018 deal, the Browns could seemingly make Beckham’s $18MM-per-year contract work.

However, the Steelers just lost arguably the best wide receiver in franchise history and only received third- and fifth-round picks for him. Beckham would be a fascinating replacement for Antonio Brown, though it would be interesting to see the Steelers abandon the Brown drama for a mercurial talent like Beckham. Although, Beckham is generally well-liked and respected in the Giants’ locker room.

Baltimore could use receiving help, and with Lamar Jackson in the fold, the Ravens may have to draft or trade for it — given free agent pass-catchers’ potential reluctance to sign with a run-based team. But Baltimore also may not want to allocate immense resources to the receiver spot, due to the nature of its new-look offense. The Bengals have A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross under contract, refuting a report the latter was on the trade block.

Beckham, 26, has five years remaining on his extension — one signed barely six months ago. Previous reports have indicated the Giants will only deal him if they are blown away by an offer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Discussing Odell Beckham Jr. Trade

The Giants are still involved in trade discussions with Odell Beckham Jr., according to a source who spoke with Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter). We’ve been hearing conflicting reports on OBJ’s availability, but it appears that one of the league’s best wide receivers remains is on the block. 

The Giants, we heard, would not seriously entertain offers unless they were “overwhelmed” by another club’s pitch. But, at the same time, head coach Pat Shurmur was fed up with OBJ’s antics at times last year. OBJ drew the ire of team brass in 2018 when he openly questioned Eli Manning and the club’s quarterback situation.

Dave Gettleman gave his Odell Beckham Jr. party line at the combine, but nothing can be ruled out after Antonio Brown – this generation’s most dominant wide receiver – was traded to the Raiders. Brown’s lucrative extension with the Steelers did not preclude a trade and it’s believed that the Giants will approach OBJ talks with a similar mindset.

Following an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, OBJ managed to reel in 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games last season. If he stays healthy and has the right pieces around him, it’s not hard to imagine OBJ getting back to the exceptional form he exhibited from 2014-2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Beckham Jr., Giants, Eagles, Cowboys

There’s been a lot of renewed discussion about the possibility of an Odell Beckham Jr. trade recently. Beckham Jr. was shopped last offseason, but a mega-extension he signed just before the season seemed to put any trade talk to rest. Just a year into his new record breaking deal however, the rumors have popped up again after Beckham Jr. clashed with his new coaching staff this past weekend. Speaking at the combine this week Giants GM Dave Gettleman didn’t completely shut the door on a potential trade, but said the team “didn’t sign Odell to trade him.”

To that end, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY says the Giants won’t get serious about trading him “unless they are overwhelmed with an offer.” On the other hand, Vacchiano also says head coach Pat Shurmur was “furious” with him at times last year over his antics, particularly when he gave an interview to ESPN where he openly questioned the team’s quarterback situation. Vacchiano also writes that the Giants “are often closer to the breaking point than they may publicly appear” with Beckham Jr. It’ll be a fascinating situation to monitor as the offseason unfold.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • After flirting with retirement, Eagles center Jason Kelce ended up signing an extension with the team today. We now have details on the extension, as the new deal will make Kelce the highest paid center in the league, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport notes that the remaining three years on KElce’s contract will now pay him an average of $11MM per year. Kelce received Pro Football Focus’ top grade among all centers, so it makes sense why he’s being paid like it. Kelce is 31 now, and should have at least a couple more years left at an elite level.
  • Speaking of retirement, we have more details on Jason Witten‘s role with the Cowboys in his return. While we’ve already heard Witten won’t be playing a full allotment of snaps, owner “Jerry Jones does not believe the veteran will be a bit piece in the offense,” according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Per Archer, Jones said this week that he doesn’t think Witten’s “a progress stopper”, and that he’ll be “well worth the roster spot.” It sounds like Witten could play a meaningful role in the offense even after taking the year off.
  • The Eagles plan on having backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld back in camp next year coach Doug Pederson said from the combine, according to Les Bowen of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Sirius XM’s NFL Insider Adam Caplan tweeted in response that Sudfeld, who is a restricted free agent, is an “interesting player who could draw strong interest from other teams if they use the low tender.” Pederson did say that the team doesn’t “just go around and give out jobs,” but they wanted Sudfeld to compete to be Carson Wentz‘s backup. Assuming another team doesn’t steal him away with an offer sheet, it sounds like Sudfeld should slide in and replace Nick Foles as the primary backup in Philly.

NFC East Notes: OBJ, Cowboys, Redskins

Dave Gettleman gave his Odell Beckham Jr. party line again this week, insisting the Giants were planning to keep him. However, trade gusts continue to swirl in Indianapolis. While the Giants won’t move Beckham for a below-market deal, Jay Glazer of The Athletic notes (subscription required) buzz around the Combine points to the team being ready to part ways with the superstar wideout if the offer is fair. Glazer predicted earlier this month Beckham would be traded. Teams are higher on Beckham than Antonio Brown, with the latter’s antics posing a significant problem for some, Glazer hears. This could inflate Beckham’s value, but Gettleman will surely need to be blown away to part ways with the recently extended wideout.

Here’s the latest from the NFC East quartet:

  • Jason Witten‘s exit from the Monday Night Football booth shocked many, and the Cowboys already appear to have a plan for the recently unretired tight end. They are planning to deploy Witten around 25 snaps per game, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The future Hall of Fame tight end, who will turn 37 in May, does not want to impede incumbents Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz‘s progress, per Hill, and is fine with a 25-snaps-per-game workload.
  • Another way the 2019 Cowboys could be flashier than the ’18 version: if Earl Thomas joins the team. Long connected to the Cowboys, the Texas native looks to still view Dallas as his preferred destination. If the money is equal, Thomas will pick Dallas, former teammate Richard Sherman said (via Matt Barrows of The Athletic, subscription required). However, the 49ers cornerback added that another team outflanking the Cowboys would make it a fairer fight. Thomas’ camp met with the Cowboys’ Combine contingent on Thursday, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (Twitter link). It doesn’t sound like the Cowboys will go all-in for the three-time All-Pro, with JLC adding the team is casting a wide net (on a deep safety market) to help here. But the soon-to-be 30-year-old defender certainly appears to still be on Dallas’ radar.
  • Nick Foles has now been connected to the Jaguars and Giants, but the Redskins also need a starting quarterback. Or do they? Washington appears likely to avoid spending starter-level cash on a veteran, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). Colt McCoy has one season remaining on his contract, and a report earlier this month indicated the Redskins are high on their backup as a possible stopgap starter. McCoy, 32, has not been a full-time starter since working in that capacity for the 2011 Browns. He started 21 games for Cleveland from 2010-11 before becoming a well-regarded backup.
  • The Eagles are finally under the projected cap, but they are still floating Nelson Agholor‘s name as a trade option at the Combine, La Canfora writes. The 2015 first-round pick’s salary is set to spike to $9.4MM. Although Philadelphia is not going through with its Foles tag-and-trade plan, taking a $25MM cap hold off the books, Agholor’s salary will still affect a team with just $6MM in cap space. Only the Jaguars hold less.