Super Bowl WR Can End Giants’ Search for Next Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr.

Getty The New York Giants can end a 5-year search for the next Odell Beckham Jr. by trading for a Super Bowl wide receiver.

It’s been five years since the New York Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, but Big Blue can finally replace him with a trade for San Francisco 49ers’ wideout Brandon Aiyuk.

There’d be some irony to this, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, because Aiyuk is “a big Odell Beckham Jr. fan.” Dunleavy revealed the Super Bowl-bound pass-catcher “listed Beckham, circa 2014 or so, as one of his all-time favorite receivers, which is ironic only in that the 49ers’ rising star is unsigned beyond next season, and the Giants have the same pressing need that they have had since trading their last No. 1 option in 2019.”

Speaking ahead of the 2024 Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, Aiyuk talked up watching Beckham star for LSU, per Dunleavy: “Just Odell’s ability to go [off] at any time, he was exciting. You might be watching the game and then all of a sudden here comes Odell flashing the swag that he played with.”

As Dunleavy pointed out, “Giants fans are starved for more of that game-breaking ability. Despite big investments in Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and even tight end Darren Waller to spark the passing attack, no pass-catcher has topped 775 yards in any of the past five seasons — let alone approached the 1,095 yards Beckham averaged from 2014-18.”

Dunleavy didn’t outline the specifics of a trade package for the Giants. Yet, he did mention how Aiyuk “is one of the most popular names floated in NFL trade circles because his is one of 10 contracts worth at least $14 million on the 49ers’ 2024 salary cap — including a three-year, $71.5 million extension for receiver Deebo Samuel.”

If general manager Joe Schoen could swing a deal, he’d net the Giants a tough and durable receiver able to gash defenses at every level of the field. That skill and versatility have seen Aiyuk emerge as arguably the most dynamic player at his position in this season’s Super Bowl.

Giants Blockbuster Trade for Complete Receiver

Not everybody fits the moniker of ‘complete receiver,’ but Aiyuk comes close. The 25-year-old is physical and shifty enough to dominate across the middle, but he also possesses the deep speed to stretch defenses vertically.

Aiyuk proved both qualities by averaging 17.9 yards per reception. He also amassed 960 of his 1,342 yards before the catch, per Pro Football Reference.

One of his best deep plays was this 76-yard touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11.

This was one of 28 catches of 20-plus yards Aiyuk snagged during the regular season, including three of 40 or more. That tally was just one fewer than Dallas Cowboys’ Pro Bowler CeeDee Lamb and All-Pro Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins.

The Giants don’t have a receiver who can go long as effectively as Aiyuk. Save for maybe Jalin Hyatt, but the third-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft struggled for targets as a rookie.

Big Blue’s pedestrian passing attack also needs a playmaker as gifted as Aiyuk at gaining separation and yards after the catch. He showcased both of those qualities on another play against the Bucs, one highlighted by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell.

The big day against the Buccaneers was one of seven 100-yard games Aiyuk produced this season. He posted those numbers because of an innate knack for fooling coverage, something only Wan’Dale Robinson possesses among Giants’ receivers.

Robinson and Hyatt represent parts of a marquee receiver. The Giants haven’t had a No. 1 receiver capable of winning in as many ways as Aiyuk since Beckham.

Giants Still Searching for Another Odell Beckham Jr.

A game-breaker to build the big-play part of their offense around. Beckham fit the bill when he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 and posted four 1,000-yard seasons out of five.

Despite the numbers, the Giants probably felt gratified to send Beckham to the Browns in exchange for safety Jabrill Peppers, guard Kevin Zeitler and first and third-round picks. It was a tidy haul for player who’s contentious demeanour and off-field drama had worn thin.

One of those picks becoming All-Pro nose tackle Dexter Lawrence II only gives the Giants more reason to look back on the trade fondly. That’s one viewpoint. The other is tinged with regret, since the Giants are still waiting to adequately replace OBJ.

Aiyuk would be a more than adequate successor to Beckham. The 49ers would surely listen to an enticing-enough trade offer for a player who’s set to count for $14,124,000 against this year’s salary cap, before becoming a free agent in 2025, per

Making room for Aiyuk’s salary shouldn’t be a problem when the Giants are projected to have $26,811,449 worth of cap space. Dedicating a chunk of the budget to a legitimate go-to receiver would solve arguably the Giants’ biggest problem.

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