The New York Giants and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may be headed for a divorce sooner rather than a later. Beckham has previously said he’s aiming to become the highest-paid player in the NFL. The Giants are getting a little sick of talking about his off-field behavior.
But trade rumors really bubbled up when:
- The Giants didn’t rule out the possibility of moving the receiver.
- Beckham reportedly said he won’t play in 2018 unless he gets a new contract.
Giants owner John Mara saying the team is “certainly not shopping” Beckham, but that he and every other player on the team aren’t “untouchable” may not sound like much. Yet, it’s a change of tune for Mara, who was 100 percent committed to making sure the receiver didn’t go anywhere a year ago:
John Mara on Odell Beckham: "He deserves to get paid. We're going to pay him. It's just a question of when."— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) July 28, 2017
Now the Giants are headed by new general manager Dave Gettleman, an executive who had no problem parting ways with stars like Steve Smith and Josh Norman during his time in charge of the Carolina Panthers.
When healthy, Beckham is one of the NFL’s best receivers and a player any team would love to have. He’s 25 with 4,424 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns in 47 games. His 94.1 yards per game are second all-time among receivers with at least 200 career receptions — behind only the 95.3 yards averaged by Julio Jones.
But not every team can make a deal for Beckham. It’d cost a lot to get him. And it’d cost a lot to pay him.
New York won’t want to part with Beckham for cheap. The young receiver staying with the Giants is still the likeliest scenario:
#NYG are not shopping Odell Beckham Jr. They know they are better with a healthy OBJ. A trade “probably won’t happen,” per source.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) March 26, 2018
Just how much would it take to pry him away? According to the New York Daily News, the Giants’ asking price for callers is “starting at a first-round pick plus.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter says it’s even higher than that:
Giants have asked for at least two first-round picks in return for Odell Beckham Jr., a league source tells ESPN, even though team insists it is not shopping him.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2018
Doesn’t mean they get it, or close to it, or even trade OBJ. But they have asked for at least two first-round picks.
The list of teams that could use a player as good as Beckham is long, but here are the franchises that could actually make a surprising trade for the receiver happen — ranked from most capable of getting a deal done to least:
When it comes to resources, no team is loaded quite like the Browns. The team has five picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, including the No. 1 and 4 selections.
Giving up a top-four pick for Beckham is a tall ask, but some kind of package with a combination of the team’s first five draft picks could easily get the job done — especially if the Giants’ No. 2 overall pick is tossed into the mix.
The Browns also lead the NFL in salary cap space, even after acquiring Jarvis Landry in a trade with the Dolphins. Landry played alongside Beckham at LSU and made it clear on Twitter he’s hopeful for a reunion.
“WE WANT BECKHAM”— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) March 26, 2018
Cleveland also has Josh Gordon, which means the receiving corps could quickly transform from one of the NFL’s worst to one of its most dangerous.
If the Browns decide Beckham is a player they want, no team is better equipped to make it happen.
Despite being among the league leaders in cap space, the Colts have been quiet so far in 2018. On the team’s short list of free agent acquisitions were wide receiver Ryan Grant and tight end Eric Ebron to replace the loss of receiver Donte Moncrief.
But the biggest move made by Indianapolis was a trade with the Jets to move down three spots in the draft order to No. 6 in exchange for three second-round picks.
That gives the team capital to help out Andrew Luck, who missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury and hasn’t had much to work with during his career so far.
The Colts could certainly use Beckham, have the money to make a deal, and enough draft capital to figure out a way to make it happen.
The 49ers seemingly struck gold by trading for Jimmy Garoppolo in October, yet haven’t done much so far to build up the cast around him. The team signed Weston Richburg up front and added Jerick McKinnon to the backfield. But the 49ers’ wide receiving corps is still underwhelming with Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin leading the way.
Landing Beckham would be a big way to keep up with the Joneses in Los Angeles, with the Rams recently jumping ahead in the NFC West arms race.
Money wouldn’t be a problem for the 49ers, but draft picks could be. Giving up the No. 9 pick is probably too pricy for San Francisco and the team’s second-round pick — via the Saints — is outside the top 50.
This offseason, the Packers landed Jimmy Graham and extended Davante Adams. Trading for Beckham would add a truly scary element to the Green Bay offense, though.
The team already parted ways with Jordy Nelson and could continue that retooling. Paying Beckham could be difficult — particularly with a new contract for Aaron Rodgers at the top of the Packers’ to-do list — but adding the receiver would make it easy to then move on from Randall Cobb and reap more than $9.4 million in savings.
With the No. 14 selection, the Packers may be right in the sweet spot: a pick the team is willing to give up for a receiver and also one the Giants are willing to accept.
Los Angeles Rams
If this were just a list of teams with the most resources to make a deal happen, the Rams probably wouldn’t come to mind. Los Angeles is No. 23 in the draft order and gave up its second-round pick to acquire Sammy Watkins a year ago.
The team already dipped into 2019 too by giving up a second-round pick next year for cornerback Marcus Peters. The Rams don’t have much money to throw around with lucrative extensions likely on the way soon for Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley.
But LA is on this list, because it was reportedly one of the first teams to throw their name into the hat for Beckham. Citing “multiple league sources,” the New York Daily News reports the Rams have already been in contact with the Giants about a potential trade for Beckham.
The Rams have aggressively pursued players this offseason that other teams have considered headaches. Trading for Peters and Aqib Talib was a start, and the team continued that by signing Ndamukong Suh.
Beckham — a star beyond just the football field — would fit in well in LA. Making the trade happen could be difficult, though.