Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr.? That is the question the Oakland Raiders’ front office will ask themselves this season per trade rumors connecting the Silver and Black to both receivers.
What player makes the most sense for Oakland?
Both A.B. and O.B.J. made names for themselves with their hard work and production on the field, first. They both bring added value in-terms of name and brand recognition on the field.
Either player would be an upgrade in terms of playmaking. They can stretch the field, lineup from a number of spots and the distance anytime they touch the ball.
Football clichés aside, let’s break down the difference each player could have on the Raiders.
Antonio Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. In his career, A.B. has 11,207 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns. That includes 1,297 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, during last year’s turbulent Steelers season. .
Financially, the 30-year-old brings $22.17 million cap hit next year as well as over an $18 million hit the next two years. The five-foot-ten receiver made a name for himself due to his route tree, speed and acceleration.
It’s rumored the Steelers would want anywhere from a second-round pick to multiple first rounders for the 2010 sixth round pick. Brown is on the trade block for a well-documented fall out with the Steelers. Brown has beef with how the team has handled Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger as well as the front office.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr., on the other hand, is only 26-years-old and he already accumulated 5,476 career receiving yards with 44 touchdowns in just 59 career games. He finished last year with 1,052 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 13 games. Beckham Jr. even threw two touchdowns last year, in the first year of a five-year, $90,000,000 contract extension he signed last offseason.
Despite battling injuries and missing a combined 16 games over the past two seasons, OBJ’s 92.8 yards per game is the second best average all-time behind only Julio Jones, per SB Nation. He’s made a name for himself with highlight catches. Odell would help the Raiders stretch the field and he can handle being the focal point of an offense..
However, Beckham Jr. was almost traded to the Patriots midseason. Last year, rumors circulated about the Giants trying to trade him due to contract negotiations and off-field dramatic. Yet, beyond the public persona, Beckham is respected for his work ethic.
Nonetheless, the team rejects the notion of trading the receiver they just signed last year. Still, it’s rumored the Giants would seek first round picks for Odell as they may want to move his big contract and start re-building the team. The Raiders would be the perfect place.
The 26-year-old holds a $21 million cap hit this year and one for $19.25 million next year. However, OBJ’s contract comes with a potential out after 2020, where a team can let him go with only $8 million in dead money.
Odell Beckham Jr. versus Antonio Brown
Beckham makes the most sense for the Raiders. Beyond the younger age and better contract, Beckham Jr. makes more sense for the Raiders.
It would cost the Raiders more trade capital to get Odell rather than Brown. However, Odell’s career trajectory is better. He’s also the same age as Derek Carr so hopefully the two hit it off and develop the next Silver and Black duo.
Not to mention, former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson shared some great insight on the distinction between the two receivers for the Raiders. Johnson knows about being an outspoken receiver on Gruden’s roster in Tampa, back in the day.
On his radio show this week, Johnson shared that Beckham makes more sense because he’s not going to push back on Gruden like A.B. might and has in Pittsburgh. Sure, Odell is a little more free-spirited, outspoken and Hollywood on the field.
However, he bought into the Giants’ plan no matter how much they go away from him or push veteran QBs on him. O.B.J. might pout about his frustration but he’s professional and comes to work.
Meanwhile, Brown has called out the Steelers’ organization a couple of times. He’s been labeled a diva too and allegedly isolated himself from the team too. Brown and Gruden could honestly clash multiple times, early and often.
In the end, the Raiders aren’t likely to trade for Beckham or Brown. Last year, Brandin Cooks got traded from the Patriots to the Rams for a first round pick which sets the market for A.B. and Odell. Cooks doesn’t have the game or brand of either Pro Bowl receiver on the market so the Steelers may want more and the Giants will definitely need the same or more.
Honestly, a first rounder is a fair price for A.B. or Odell. And if the Raiders could get rid of some of their cap casualties too in the process that would be great. Cough, Karl Joseph, Seth Roberts, Justin Ellis, Kelechi Osemele, Donald Penn or anyone else on the chopping block. Moreover, is there any guarantee the Raiders selection at 24 or 27 will turn into A.B. or Odell?
Nonetheless, teams that only won four games last season aren’t in the business of trading away first round picks. That’s especially true when you consider the Raiders traded away two of their best players last year for the picks.
Seriously, would the Raiders or Giants pay Odell, A.B. or any receiver more than $10 million when they just traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper before their fifth-year options ended because they weren’t ready to negotiate big contracts.
Ultimately, the Raiders probably won’t nor should they trade for Odell and A.B. They’d both be great players and RaiderNation would love for them on Madden, but they wouldn’t make sense for a team entering a major rebuild.