In the past week, FOX’s Jay Glazer predicted Beckham would be traded. His rationale is:
“…the Giants have a lot more holes than anyone thought. They need massive help on the offensive line, they need a quarterback, they need pass rushers (plural), and they need linebackers. You’re not going to trade Saquon Barkley and you want to start building more around Saquon than you do around Odell. If you can take Odell and get some bounty for him to fill more holes, I think that’s a wise business decision for the Giants.”
This isn’t the first time Glazer reported of a potential trade involving Beckham. He said several teams contacted the Giants ahead of last season’s trade deadline “with some decent offers”.
The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly one of the teams in the hunt for Beckham’s services. Veteran reporter John Clayton offered his take, comparing Beckham to two other elite wide receivers:
“I think ideally you’d want the younger guy because there’s more upside. Because once you start to get to 31 (years old), which is where Antonio Brown is, there’s a decline in the game. And again, you even watch it with Larry Fitzgerald, who is arguably a first-ballot Hall of Famer, once he got to 31, he had to move more inside to the slot. He did great. He’s still playing. He got his $11 million to continue with the (Arizona) Cardinals, but there’s a drop off, because you’re not as good on the outside catching passes.”
Clayton also speculated on what it would take for the Giants to part ways with OBJ.
“So that’s where you have a little bit of concern where Beckham, he’s still hitting his stride. He’s still getting better. Again, the price tag is going to be significantly more because I don’t know, for example, if the Giants, for example, would only accept a first-round pick. They may want a one and a three, something like that, or a one and a four. And that might be too pricey for the 49ers to do…
“…In the end, I don’t see the Giants trading him. Again, they’ve got to get a young quarterback in there to go with Eli Manning, and why take away your best receiver even though he does give you some headaches?”
NBC’s Mike Florio also reported the 49ers are actively trying to pry Beckham away from the Giants. Chris Simms reported last week the New England Patriots were one of the teams pursuing Beckham on Pro Football Talk Live.
The oddsmakers in Las Vegas weighed in as well. According to Sports Line, the most likely scenario is Beckham remaining with the Giants (1/1 odds). There are 4/1 odds he is dealt to the 49ers and 7/1 odds he is traded to the Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.
It should not come as a surprise that teams are interested in adding Beckham. He already has 390 receptions for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in his five NFL seasons. His 92.8 yards per game average is the second-best in NFL history behind the Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones (96.7 yards per game). Beckham’s on-the-field prowess cannot be denied.
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General manager Dave Gettleman attempted to quell the trade rumors at the end of the regular season by saying “we didn’t sign him to trade him”. This wasn’t good enough as Beckham vented on Twitter to voice his displeasure.
They don’t even kno what they did. The shift/ transformation, Is comin… thank u for motivating me yet again.
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) February 20, 2019
ONE DAY. Everything will all make sense in the end. I promise u. Story’s unfolding, it’s all a part of the journey. #JustWait
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) February 20, 2019
Beckham has himself to blame, in part, for these persistent trade rumors.
He led the Giants wide receivers on an ill-advised trip to Miami less than a week before a postseason game. Almost a year ago, video surfaced of Beckham in a hotel room with a French model, a pizza, and possible controlled substances. He reportedly earned the ire of the Giants coaching staff and his teammates after an interview last season with ESPN’s Josina Anderson and rapper Lil Wayne. However, he has never been in trouble with the law and missed just one game due to league suspension.
Beckham’s injury history also fuels speculation. He was limited to four games in 2017 due to a fractured ankle and 12 games in 2018 because of a quad injury.
In spite of the speculation, expect Beckham to suit up for the Giants in 2019. His contract makes it extremely difficult to move him. In addition, trading him wouldn’t provide an immediate benefit to the team.
Beckham signed a five-year, $90 million extension. In 2019, he will make $16.75 million in base salary with a $21 million cap hit. The Giants would only recoup $5 million if they trade him before June 1. After June 1, the team could get back $17 million and carry just $4 million in dead money. The post-June 1 scenario means the Giants wouldn’t be able to use any draft picks received as compensation this year and/or any money received couldn’t be applied to the upcoming free agency period.
The price for acquiring Beckham might be too steep for most teams.
Last season, the Patriots dealt Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams for a first-round pick. Cooks is a good wide receiver, but not an elite one like Beckham. If Cooks is worth a first-round pick, it is safe to say Beckham is worth much more.
Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the NFL’s most electrifying wide receivers. He can literally take it to the house each time he catches the football. His talent comes with some baggage that could potentially makes NFL teams wary, including the team he currently plays for. Regardless of the speculation, he’s not going anywhere.