“Source has told me that the Browns and Vikings are in discussions on a trade that would send Odell Beckham Jr. to the Vikings for a 2nd and 5th round pick next year. Trade is not done, but the deal is being discussed,” Malusis wrote.
Fox Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd doubled-down on the report during his radio show, sharing that a source told him that Beckham wanted out of Cleveland.
“You know the source who gave me the ‘Tom Brady to Tampa Bay’ story? The same source just texted me, ‘OBJ wants out.’ He’s been a good soldier and he’s not going to make a big deal. He’ll deny it and he wants to get along with everybody,” Cowherd said on Wednesday. “OBJ has been a very good soldier in Cleveland. Has he been projecting on Instagram? Yeah, because he’s in the middle of nowhere and he’s a superstar. Let’s just say this – OBJ will not go public, and he knows Minnesota is a good place and he knows it’s a good fit. I’m just going to leave it at that.”
DePodesta said he has no reason to believe Cowherd’s assumption is true.
“I have no reason to believe that he doesn’t want to be here,” DePodesta said. “Odell’s been very good this offseason. He’s been engaged I know with [new Browns coach] Kevin [Stefanski]. I think he’s excited about the possibilities of what this offensive system can bring for him, and we’re excited to have him.”
Paul DePodesta: No Reason to Believe Beckham Wants Out
DePodesta addressed those reports surrounding the team’s star wide receiver during a conference call with reporters on Thursday, hammering home that the Browns are not exploring a trade with the Vikings involving Beckham.
“It’s frustrating a little bit, obviously. I think it’s pretty clear, but we’re trying to build at this point,” DePodesta said, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “We’ve done an awful lot in free agency. We’re excited about what we’ll have a chance to do in the draft, and we’re really building around a corps of players that we think have a chance to be a championship-caliber core.
“And the idea that we would take away from that core at this moment just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and [it’s] really not something that we’re exploring at all. So, yeah, it’s completely false.”
Despite breaking the 1,000-yard barrier, Beckham did not live up to the wild expectations set for him, finishing his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in a year that was defined more by what happened off the field than on it.
Browns See Odell Beckham as Key Part of Future
The Browns have been open that they will at least listen to deals, which is a far-cry from actively shopping a player.
“I won’t discuss any specific player in terms of trade opportunities, trade calls or anything like that,” general manager Berry said at the combine when asked asked specifically about Beckham, per cleveland.com. “I did work under probably the strongest wheeler-dealer in the league under [Eagles GM] Howie Roseman and it’s something that you always pick up the phone and you listen to anything across the table.
Berry, however, said that Beckham is a part of the future in Cleveland with head coach Stefanski leading the way.
“Odell’s a very talented football player,” Berry said. “We view him as part of our future. Kevin and I both have had really good conversations about our expectations for him and we expect him to adapt to those moving forward. We’re excited about the future with Odell, excited about what he’s going to do this fall.”