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Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

As first reported by Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network and confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the New York Giants have agreed to trade wide receiver Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns.

Schefter soon weighed in with the compensation:

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57 comments, Last at 18 Mar 2019, 4:05pm

4 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

While I am not a fan of the Brown exodus, the difference in the two situations is leverage. Brown was leaving one way or another, and everyone knew it. No way the Steelers could wait; once he starts holding out no one has any incentive to do anything but wait for bottom dollar. (Now, maybe the Steelers could have handled things differently before the brink, but once the situation blew up it wasn't ending well no matter who was negotiating.) OBJ did not have that same leverage over the Giants, so they got a (much) better deal.

The Giants will have a raze-to-the-ground-and-rebuild year sometime very soon, while Cleveland has already emerged. OBJ is more valuable to them than to the Giants by a long shot.

The Steelers also likely didn't want to deal Brown to a division rival (and Cleveland is hardly likely to pay a division rival as much as they would the Giants), so if Cleveland was the market for WR, then the Steelers couldn't get this kind of deal no matter what they said.

16 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Well, the Steelers might consider treating their players better. They alienated 2/3 of their "killer Bs" pretty damn fast. They brought this on themselves.

Didn't they tell Brown to just submit to the unquestionable authority of Super Bowl Winner™®© Ben Roethlisberger? Or was that some media jackass who said that? The jackassary blends together in my memory…

15 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Right. Sometimes it's the little details that are the most amusing, like how when the Giants traded away the most talented receiver in the NFL at age 25 with his bonus already paid, the Browns successfully balanced out the deal with the lesser of their two third round picks and a 3rd year player who was a 1st round pick at a position where his rookie contract provides close to the least amount of surplus value relative to a veteran.

43 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

I imagine that the market for Eli is awfully small considering that he's a mediocre QB on a market-rate contract, and the couple of teams in the market for that kind of player already shot their shot by acquiring Keenum, Flacco, and Foles. Keeping Eli around won't be a disaster as long as they do the same thing with him as they did with Kurt Warner in 2004--draft a QB and pay a veteran mentor to soak up snaps until the rookie is ready for action.

Jettisoning all this talent doesn't make any sense unless they're really committing to a rebuild. Since the start of last season, they've lost probably their three most talented defenders in Collins, Vernon, and Snacks Harrison, and they just shipped out an All-Pro receiver. That's a huge talent drain to a team that was 5-11 last year.

54 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

What they did to Warner is criminal. Although that was par for the course with him. Eli was merely one of three less qualified and less skilled quarterbacks to take a job away from Kurt Warner during his career.

Anyway, it doesn't matter that they can't get a first for Eli - they can't get any ANYTHING for Eli. And that's fine... but it still doesn't excuse their decision to retain him, pay a $5m bonus, pay his full salary, and keep him aboard a ship that seems to be sinking entirely by design.

I get that maybe they didn't love any of the other quarterbacks last year (and, given the level of play of Darnold, Rosen, and Allen, it's not as if they've been definitively proven wrong, albeit only one year in) but there still isn't any sound logical argument for keeping him around and paying him, even as a stopgap. And even moreso now that they're stuck eating a ton of dead money unnecessarily.

It just reeks of poor planning. And it sucks for Saquon. Probably quite a bit for Shurmur too, although for all we know he's part of the decision process/problem.

55 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Hyperbole aside (tough for you, I know :-)) what did they do to Warner? He played there 1 season, didn't play great, in part because of an injury on his throwing thumb as I recall, and he got benched for the QB of the future. I'm no fan of the Giants, but that just seems like life in the NFL. Am I missing something?

56 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Yeah in terms of coach speak of, "best chance to win", Kurt had a right to feel upset. On the other hand, this is very much par for the course when a quarterback is drafted in the first round. No one was surprised flacco was upended for Jackson, even though Flacco was playing better than Jackson.

57 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

OK, so I don't think I'm seeing anything criminal here. The Giants decided Eli was The Guy and decided to act on that. Hard to argue with that approach even without the hindsight of the Giants 2 Super Bowls. Warner's performances that the Giants could see in 02-03 (STL) and 04 (NYG), using rate stats instead of counting stats to discount games played are:

Games Played: 7, 2, and 10
DVOA: -17.3%, -64.7%, and -12.1%
ANY/A: 3.59, 4.29, and 5.69

Compared with 2001 where he led the league: 16 games, DVOA 36.7%, ANY/A 7.41

If you really think Eli is The Guy, Warner's performance is not something you keep The Guy on the bench for. He had 2 bad and/or injured years in STL before coming to the Giants, then was having a below-average year, so they decided Warner was on the downslope and wanted to get Eli some experience. The only way this looks as if the Giants did Warner dirty is in hindsight through the lens of Kurt Warner Hall of Famer. I liked Warner and rooted for him and have no issue with his Hall of Fame candidacy, but he was not wronged in this.

5 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Wow. With this deal the Browns now have the third best odds to win the AFC next year (behind the obvious suspects), which I find a bit shocking. Are they really ahead of the Chargers, Ravens, Colts, and Texans, teams who actually made the playoffs last year?

From the Giants perspective, I don't see how this makes sense with their intention of sticking with Eli. If he's still your QB than surely you must be in win now mode. I guess it's hard to analyze the moves of an organization that's so clueless as to think Eli is still part of their future.

10 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

The Ravens lost a lot of defensive talent, and I think there's still a lot of questions surrounding Lamar Jackson. I would say the Chargers are a better bet than the Browns, but I would put them about even with the Colts and Texans I think. Remember, the Browns looked really good once they fired their whole coaching staff, and Baker Mayfield was a top 10 QB in the last couple of months. I think they're a legit team now, with few weaknesses top-to-bottom with OBJ there now.

19 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Being around his buddy Landry and Mayfield will make him happy; I can't imagine that will be anything but a fun place to be next season.

As for the Giants... Saquon ought to pull an AB at this point. Man... just what on earth is that team doing?

There is only one motivation for this trade that would make even a shred of sense to me, and that is that maybe they hope that this will make Eli retire so they won't have to look bad (again) for getting rid of him.

35 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

I don't really know how adding the most talented receiver in the league will hurt team chemistry. Aside from some public sideline outbursts, I've never really heard talk that OBJ is a locker room cancer. Either way, it's worth having for that talent.

And I agree that Luck is better than Mayfield RIGHT NOW, but I'm not sure that there will be much of a gap there within a season or 2. Mayfield was already playing like a top 10 QB by the end of last season. Also, on paper the Browns have as much talent as the Colts now.

17 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

The Chargers and Colts seem like candidates for some regression next year; the Colts probably weren't as good at they played last year, and Phillip Rivers may or may not decline due to age. The Ravens look objectively worse, though there's plenty of time for all of this to change. The Texans could go either way.

I was high on the Browns even before this trade, so I think they're at least even with the Colts/ Chargees, and all three teams should compete for a bye in the AFC. I personally think the Browns are the best of the bunch. They're certainly the favorites for the North.

21 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

I think the Colts will be better than they played last year, but possibly with a worse record. What's funny is that had they not come out of the gates so (understandably) sluggishly they could actually have been a bye team themselves - one of the weakest in memory, of course - and we know that healthy Luck means that they'll contend in almost any game. But the schedule of opposing QBs this coming years is MUCH harder for them. Four of their five intradivisional road games are against upper echelon quarterbacks, plus they'll face Newton (if his arm works) and Ryan at home. Agree on the Chargers too, although they still have the run game and pass rush to be a playoff contender without expecting much from him. If they stay healthy I like the way that team is built a lot. But they'll have to beat the Chiefs to get a bye.

Being high on the Browns, especially after this trade, feels like a trap. It's chalk. But it's also perfectly rational. They are talented, they play well, they seem to have a clever coach, etc... it's possible that Mayfield will regress, but even if he just plays at the same level as last year and doesn't improve at all, that team likely should be favored in the division. Their schedule isn't terrible, the Steelers are entirely likely to be a 6-10 team, and the Ravens with Jackson are still a bit of a question mark.

So yeah. I just typed two paragraphs just to agree with you. I think maybe I'd say Colts and Browns > Chargers, but much of that has to do with the existence of the Chiefs.

32 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

I agree, but for two things:

- Ben is getting old and has been sort of sneakily not very good the last two years
- after all this upheaval, I have a hard time believing that Tomlin's leadership will have the locker room all on the same page at the first hint of trouble.

I have long thought Tomlin was overrated (similar in a ton of ways to Mike McCarthy, whose firing was long overdue) and this just really seems like it could very well be the year when things really fall apart.

I won't say one outcome is more likely than the other... just that I won't be surprised by either. They're still talented and they still have a HOF caliber QB. They could also still be one domino tip or injury away from falling apart and quitting on the season early.

49 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

I think Ben's offensive talent last year was among the best in football, even if you think it was massively top heavy. The line is/was good and AB and JuJu are/were superlative players.

Ben at this point is on massive decline watch - meaning it can happen at any moment. If you told me he stayed healthy all season next year, I probably wouldn't believe you. If you told me he was shot like McNabb starting the season, I don't think that's a crazy thought either. My best guess? he suffers some injury during the year and becomes a slightly better version of Peyton Manning in 2014 - a shot fighter trying to win with whatever heroics he can muster while his body falls apart.

Btw, I also have similar view of Rivers at this point as well. While his playing style is more conducive to staying healthy vs big ben, he's also had a significant build up of scar tissue stemming from years spent behind some of the worst offensive lines in the league. Seriously, the only thing that kept the Chargers from a browns like dark age from 2011 through today was Philip Rivers.

8 Re: BREAKING NEWS: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

This and the Sheldon Richardson signing make John Dorsey an early favorite for NFL Executive of the Year. He previously put together that wonderful supporting cast for Mahomes' KC Chiefs. Now let's see if he can manage the salary cap better than he allegedly did in KC.

12 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Adam Silverstein reporting that the Browns are also closing in on signing Earl Thomas to a 3-year deal i.e. to coincide with Myles/Baker extensions, and to replace Peppers.

It's unbelievable that we might be able to use "Browns" and "dream team" [with the very slight chance that it has the negative connotation of having many overpaid names not perform, a la 2011 Eagles, if the team chemistry goes wrong] in the same sentence now,

I've questioned on here before whether elite WRs in general really have elite "value," and I fully admit I referenced OBJ in particular with them, but this just might work because of his being BFFs with Jarvis Landry.

24 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Inexplicable move here. Doesn't make sense from a talent / team building standpoint nor a money standpoint. Wonder if John Dorsey was beside himself when he learned the Giants were willing to do this. the closest analogy is one of those people who sells a rare artifact that they themselves have no idea what its true value is. In such a situation you keep your mouth shut and smile with Glee inside.

25 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

With Odell and saquon, the Giants had the kind of young talent to perfectly complement a Young quarterback. Now they have a giant pile of suck at receiver. don't be surprised if we start hearing that their rookie quarterback struggles because he has a lack of talent around him.

I actually feel bad for Joe Thomas. he retires just as the brown start to get a clue. I bet he wishes his career had been fast-forwarded to today. I was already pretty high on the browns before this and now I'm super optimistic.

I'm not sure this puts them definitively above the Steelers yet. Despite the Steelers insanity last year, they still have a lot of talent and experience and if Ben doesn't decline, he's still the better qb.

I know this time looks different, but I've been scarred so much by the browns that I'll believe it when I see it.

26 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Can someone explain to me why everybody is so high on the Browns when they have a rookie headcoach who a year ago was hired as running back coach ? Someone with half a season of offensive co-ordinating to his resume.

27 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

I guess it depends on just how high the expectations are. I don't think anyone here is penciling in a superbowl win or even an afc championship game, but there's enough there to be optimistic about making the playoffs for the first time in eons.

The browns about 3 years ago were an awful team with no talent. A year ago, they were a much more talented team with an awful head coach. I think even if you aren't a fan of Kitchens, you have to think in half a season he's been far better than Jackson. Add in some talent at defensive line, a good young qb with an expected leap and a superstar wide receiver and you have the makings of a playoff team to me.

28 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Thanks for your comments.

Half a season of Gregg Williams was better than Hue Jackson - that I agree on.

But half a year of Kitchens as OC better than Hue Jackson? I'm not so sure. The one thing that most people used to agree on is that Hue Jackson was a very good OC at the Raiders in 2010 and circa 2014 in Cincinnati.

As Jackson showed HCing is a different skillset to coordinating but at least the latter involves some strategy and man management of position coaches. I'm just not sure where Kitchens is suddenly going to get that leadership experience from. Maybe he's a natural leader who's just been biding his time.

Aside from Kitchens doing a good or bad job - I just have this sneaky feeling that however well things go ... Jimmy Haslam will step in and blow things up.

29 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Certainly a possibility, but they ranked 18 by DVOA, -3 last year. Three teams made the playoffs at about 0 to -5. The Browns will better at receiver and defensive tackle, probably saftey as well, and they have 10 draft picks, 4 in the first 3 rounds. Their qb play should continue to improve. Making the playoffs is a very reasonable goal.

36 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

I think the Browns should be considered contenders for the AFC Championship Game. I wouldn't even count them out to make the Super Bowl. I think we've just conditioned ourselves to believe that the Browns are bad for so long, it's impossible to imagine them being great.

I agree the coach is the biggest question mark here (and the chance that Haslam screws things up), but if his offensive coordinator performance last season is any indication of his coaching ability (which admittedly is a big if, some people are great coordinators but mediocre HCs), then what is actually holding this team back?

44 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Baker Mayfield is still far from a known quantity. Even if he becomes good, just how good will he be? Will he be Matt Stafford, Eli Manning or Big Ben or Aaron Rodgers?

He could also flop and be a bit of a one year wonder. Who knows.

That along with the mystery at coach plus overall inexperience of the team gives me enough pause to doubt them as SB contenders. I still have KC and NE above them.

46 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Offensive and defensive lines seem suspect, too. Yeah, they signed Richardson, but this will be his fourth team in as many seasons. There's a reason(s) for that.

NE's the favorite until proven otherwise. Everybody knows how good KC's offense is, but they're also going through a pretty complete overhaul defensively ( a defense that sucked overall in 2018, but still...)

48 Re: Giants Trading Beckham to Browns

Richardson was terrific for the Vikings. My impression was that he was good for the Seahawks. He left because of cap constraints. Now, it is legitimate to think he may go back to coasting some like he did at the end with the Jets, but some guys just dont play as hard in dysfunctional settings. Then again this is the Browns....