A new rumor hit the headlines regarding Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Wednesday, with it being reported that the Minnesota Vikings are in talks to acquire the three-time Pro Bowler.
“Discussions on a trade that would send (Beckham) to the Vikings for a 2nd and 5th round pick next year. Trade is not done, but the deal is being discussed,” Malusis wrote.
The Vikings traded away Stefon Diggs earlier this offseason, who was their top pass-catcher a year ago. Diggs caught 63 balls for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns last year.
New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski also has a major connection to the Vikings, having spent 14 seasons with Minnesota before taking over in Cleveland.
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Malusis joined local Cleveland station 92.3 The Fan to discuss the trade further.
“I get a text from a buddy of mine who is well-sourced. He basically said, ‘Listen, this is what I’m hearing. They have had conversations — the Browns and the Vikings — and don’t be surprised if this happens. Beckham would go to Minnesota and it would be a second and fifth round pick that would be going back to Cleveland,'” Malusis told Bull and Fox. “The Browns and Vikings have had talks. It’s intriguing, certainly.”
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.
But why would the Browns deal a receiver with All-Pro potential after giving up a first- and third-round pick, as well as former first-round defensive back Jabrill Peppers just a year ago? It could have to do with the offensive line, per Malusis.
“Cleveland is still in with Washington talking about Trent Williams, and the Redskins are have been asking for a second round choice. So maybe it’s the case where you improve that offensive line.”
Browns fans have grown weary of the Beckham rumors, which have been addressed by leadership on the team multiple times. Owner Jimmy Haslam made it very clear that he “absolutely” expects Beckham on the Browns next year.
“Odell is extremely talented,” Haslam said during the introductory press conference for general manager Andrew Berry. “He was hampered by the groin injury. Listen, he could have done some things better and we could have done some things better. I think Kevin [Stefanski] is very excited to have Odell on the team. The surgery went well, he’s rehabbing and we look forward to having him and being a big, big producer for the team this year.”
Beckham himself has made it clear he wants to stay in Cleveland.
“With the new coach coming in, just seeing what he did with the Minnesota Vikings for a long time with [Adam] Thielen and [Stephon] Diggs,’’ Beckham told Complex Sports earlier this offseason. “These are people who I’ve watched closely on their film, and just seeing the things that he did and meeting him and seeing where his mind’s at for Jarvis [Landry] and myself of how this will all work out, I have a good feeling about it, you know?’’
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The report was shot down by cleveland.com Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot, who said a Vikings source told her simply it was “false.”
However, many have linked the rumor to a pending announcement from noted NFL insider Jay Glazer, who teased “big national news” coming on Wednesday night. Glazer was the first to report on the once-unthinkable trade of Beckham from New York to Cleveland, so the timing is at least notable.