Earlier this week, rumors circulated that the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns were in the midst of trade talks surrounding wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. WFAN’s Marc Malusis reported via Twitter that the Vikings were set to send two 2021 draft picks — a second rounder and a fifth rounder — to Cleveland in exchange for Beckham.
After the Vikings traded talented wideout Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills a few weeks back, it seemed believable, and thus, sent Twitter and the media world abuzz. But as it turns out, there was no truth to the trade talks. Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot was the first reliable source to shoot the OBJ-to-the-Vikings rumors down, tweeting out that her sources said the rumor was “false.” Others within the Vikings organization have concurred.
The trade rumors surrounding Beckham still gave a few people ideas, though, including one former member of the Chicago Bears, who thinks the team’s general manager Ryan Pace should use the rumors to kick the tires about the possibility of acquiring Beckham to put opposite Allen Robinson.
Tom Waddle: Ryan Pace Has to ‘Make a Call’ About Beckham Trade
Tom Waddle was one of the more standout wide receivers in Chicago Bears history. Known for his grit and great hands, Waddle played for the team from 1989-94, and he has been a staple in the Chicago sports scene ever since. On Waddle & Silvy, his ESPN 1000 radio show, the former Bears wideout cited the OBJ trade rumor as reason enough for a milquetoast Bears offense to knock on the Browns’ door to inquire about the possibility of trading for Beckham.
“There was a rumor that the Vikings were talking to the Browns about a potential trade,” Waddle said. “I say if the price is a second round pick and a fifth round pick next year, I want Ryan Pace to pick up the phone and see if that’s doable.”
For Waddle, it’s all about draft picks. If second and fifth-round picks in 2021 are all the Browns would want in return for Beckham, Waddle thinks the Bears absolutely have to, at the very least, look into adding OBJ. When Waddle’s co-host Marc Silverman asked him a very valid question about whether or not the Bears can afford to pay Beckham (spoiler alert: they very likely can’t, unless they were to get rid of a major contract like Kyle Fuller’s or Khalil Mack’s), Waddle brushed the question aside and continued his push for the team to look into Beckham.
“My point is, is that if this is in fact a deal that the Browns are looking to make, I would want my general manager to make a call and see what the story is … it comes down to what you’d be paying for.”
OBJ’s History Not an Issue for Waddle
Beckham’s injury history doesn’t bother Waddle, who cited his production even when hurt, including the 1,305 yards and 12 scores he had in 12 games his rookie year and the 1,035 yards and four scores he had last season when he played through an injury in his core. Beckham missed 11 games in 2017 due to a fracture in his foot. The 2017 season was the first and only year he didn’t have a 1,000-yard season.
Waddle was firm on the price being right for Beckham, however. “If you told me I’d have to give up a first and a second or two twos … no.” Waddle also challenged Silverman and anyone else who felt Beckham’s penchant for drama may be a detriment to the Bears’ locker room.
“Are you afraid Odell Beckham Jr. is going to wreck your locker room — that locker room that housed the 29th best offense in the league last year … a locker room that scored 17 points a game?”
Silverman noted that while on paper, imagining a receiving corps with Beckham and Allen Robinson is a scary thought, the reality of making that happen could cost the Bears too much. But when the subject of the Bears possibly drafting a wide receiver in 2020 came up, the conversation got a bit more interesting.
If Bears Are Planning on Drafting a WR, Why Not Check on OBJ Trade?
Waddle and Silverman then mentioned the recent Mel Kiper mock draft that has the Bears taking wideout KJ Hamler out of Penn State with the 50th overall pick. Should the Bears be looking to add a wide receiver in the second round this year, and if the Browns are only looking for 2021 second and fifth rounders for Beckham, why not grab OBJ if you can and figure out the money by getting creative?
If the Bears knew they were going to land a receiver as talented as Beckham in the second round, they’d take that deal immediately, Waddle said, so why not just go get Beckham, who is unquestionably talented and still just 27-years-old?
Bears fans may be more than a bit divided on the subject of Beckham in a Bears uniform, however. Silverman read some immediate fan responses, which essentially ranged from “sign him now,” to wanting him is “like openly admitting to wanting an STD.”
One caller noted the team still needs an offensive line to block, or whomever is at quarterback won’t be able to complete a pass to Beckham even if the Bears could pick him up. Waddle also had an answer for that: the team can take two solid offensive linemen in the second round this year, giving the o-line some youth and depth.
It would be the shock of the offseason, and very likely will not happen, but it would be interesting to see Odell Beckham and Allen Robinson as the top two wideouts for the Chicago Bears.