The New York Giants’ signing of Odell Beckham Jr. to a record extension that was drawn up to keep him in the Meadowlands for the next half decade may wind up proving to have been all for nought, as the latest reports indicate that the 26-year-old All-Pro receiver will be wearing orange in 2019 if the Cleveland Browns get their way.
Initially, Odell’s mega-contract was seen as a bright spot heading into a season that had many favoring the Giants in the NFC East division. The $95 million number, as was reported by CNBC in August, certainly drew its fair share of critics seeing how it was shaped to be the most lucrative deal any player at his position had ever been offered. But to many a fan, the $65 million guarantee — the $20 million average through years one, two, and three — and the additional five million dollars in incentives translated into security. For the many who still believe the man to be the cream of the crop at wide-out, the deal remains a steal. But for many others, doubt has begun to settle in about OBJ’s ability to eventually own the leadership role he is in part expected to take on as the face of the franchise, and there is a growing buzz around the organization that executives in the front office are regretting the signing as well.
The latest in a slew of trade rumors involving Beckham over the past several weeks comes by way of former MVP quarterback-turned-color commentator Boomer Esiason, who told the WFAN listening audience that he is privy to a “legitimate discussion” being had about the prospects of Cleveland acquiring the NFL superstar. According to what Esiason said on the airwaves just before Wednesday’s (November 14) edition of Boomer and Gio came to a close, the league’s trade deadline may have passed for the current year, but that won’t keep the Browns from putting a package together that the Giants are likely to at least consider.
“Somebody actually told me…I hate doing this, especially at the end of the show, but here’s something for fodder for everybody to think about. So what do the Cleveland Browns have a plethora of? […] They have a bunch of picks, draft picks. What would it take for the Giants to trade Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns?,” the New York Daily News quotes Esiason as having asked. Co-host Gregg Giannotti responded by guessing aloud that it would have to be a couple of top draft picks, to which Esiason then replied, “At least, right? I actually did hear legitimate discussion about that…(in) NFL circles.”
Beckham continues to put up numbers in spite of the horrific offensive line and quarterback play the team has had to overcome through nine games. He has so far completed 65 catches for 858 yards and caught four touchdown passes. That puts him on pace to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time in his career, albeit he likely won’t match the 10 TD mark that he was able to meet in each of his first three seasons in the pros.
The issue at hand for cynics, however, is that it appears playing on such a big stage in New York may only continue to encourage some of the diva antics that have caused for a distraction more times than management might have liked. What’s more, Beckham may have driven a wedge through the Giants locker room with comments he’s made in the press about his teammates in the past, all the while hinting that he was growing jaded in the New York Giants uniform.
With the organization recognizing that they’ve got fresh talent to build around in rookie sensation Saquon Barkley, it is therefore not out of the realm of possibility that the powers overseeing affairs in MetLife Stadium will be willing to cut bait and start anew. One can argue they’d stand to get more buy-in from a rookie class of early round studs than they would OBJ, and at this point, buy-in might be all they are looking for.