Stop me if you heard this one before; the Cleveland Browns are open to trading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. These are the current rumors swirling in Ohio at the moment, and whether they carry more fib than fact, it’s clear that the OBJ-Browns marriage has not gone the way that Cleveland had projected it would when they willingly surrendered a first and third-round draft pick, as well as a former top-25 overall pick in safety Jabrill Peppers to the Giants back in 2019.
However, aside from a meteoric rise to fame by last year’s fifth-rounder, Darius Slayton, the Giants passing attack has seriously missed Beckham’s game-breaking ability. No Giants receiver has recorded more than 64 receptions or 842 receiving yards over the 17 games since the team opted to trade Beckham away. On the other hand, Beckham has topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark in every season of his career in which he’s appeared in at least five games.
With Beckham potentially looking for a change of scenery yet again and the Giants in search of playmakers for young quarterback Daniel Jones, could a reunion be on the horizon?
Fans, Ex-Teammates Back the Idea of OBJ Back in NY
We can debate all day on how much weight Mike Francesa’s reports of the Browns shopping Beckham holds, so we simply won’t. Instead, we’ll harp on the response from the Giants fanbase and Beckham’s former Giants teammates upon catching wind of the news.
When Daily Blast Lives’ Brandon London retweeted the report with the caption “‘Once a Giant, always a Giant’ or nah?” (an ode to Eli Manning’s retirement speech), Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champion and beloved former punter Steve Weatherford decided to chime in, sharing this clip of him and Beckham at a basketball game.
— Steve Weatherford (@Weatherford5) January 28, 2019
In the clip, Weatherford leans over to a friend, stating “I miss him, man” in regards to Beckham, who the punter spent one season with as teammates during the wideout’s rookie season.
Apparently, Weatherford isn’t the only one catching feelings over Beckham. Two-time Super Bowl Champion and Giants great, Osi Umenyiora, tweeted this gem out of the blue on Thursday afternoon.
I wish they wouldn’t have traded Odell. That man is a baller
— THE UPRISE (@OsiUmenyiora) September 17, 2020
Former players aren’t the only ones eyeing a Beckham return to New York. Fans have flooded social media with polls and tweets pointing towards the three-time Pro Bowler being welcomed back to New York with open arms if the G-Men were able to swing a deal.
Follow Heavy on Giants for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
Beckham’s ‘Antics’ Were Overblown During His Time with Giants
The same fans that pegged Beckham as a disgrace to the organization fail to mention that the Giants just wasted a 2019 first-round pick on a player who is potentially facing life in prison.
In reality, aside from a short-clip of Beckham eating pizza on a hotel bed with an Instagram model, and an on-field spat with Josh Norman way back in 2015, OBJ was essentially a model citizen in New York.
Beckham Would Solve Offensive Issues but Would He Add Wins?
We’ve already touched on the statistical differential between Beckham and other Giants receivers. However, less glaring, yet arguably more important, is what he would mean for the rest of the offense’s success.
Remember Saquon Barkley’s six-yard rushing performance from Week 1? That likely doesn’t happen had Pittsburgh needed to keep a safety over the top to counteract Beckham’s game-breaking traits. His presence would also allow Darius Slayton to continue to face man-to-man coverage, as well as open up targets for tight end Evan Engram underneath.
However, for all the good Beckham would bring to New York, he likely wouldn’t add many “dubs” to the win-column. The Giants topped six wins just once over Beckham’s five-year career in New York. They also saw just a one-game decrease in victories without Beckham on the team a season ago. Furthermore, the Browns actually dropped from seven wins in 2018 to six wins in 2019 upon adding the wideout to the fold.
Yet, more important than anything, and the likely reason the idea of Beckham making his way back to New York remains almost certain not to occur, is that GM Dave Gettleman still reigns supreme over the organization.
Gettleman’s handling of Beckham throughout their short time together was less than pleasing from a Giants perspective. He constantly told the media and fans one thing (namely, we are not trading Beckham) and proceeded to do the polar opposite.
Whether he regrets the way things played out or not, don’t expect Gettleman to show any knicks in his own GMing armor. We’re talking about the same guy who doubled-down on his mid-season Leonard Williams trade a season ago by slapping the defender with a 16M-plus franchise tag this offseason. This, despite the fact Williams registered a meager 0.5 sack during his eight-game run with the team in 2019.
Simply put, Beckham may soon find his way out of Cleveland, but it almost certainly won’t be as a gateway back to New York. That is, at least in the near future.
For More Giants Content Follow @VinnySomma on Twitter.
- Fans Plead Giants to Pull Trigger on Blockbuster Trade for Pro Bowler
- Joe Judge Responds to Tiki Barber’s Criticism of Saquon Barkley
- Giants Legend Shades Saquon: ‘He’s a Big Back Who Wants to Play Small’
- O.J. Simpson Trashes ‘Soft’ Giants, Disses Coach [WATCH]