The latest Odell Beckham Jr. news and rumors suggest that the Cleveland Browns are actively trying to trade wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. After long-time New York radio host Mike Francesa tweeted out that he had heard that the Browns are looking to trade him, speculation began to run rampant on the web. However, on Tuesday’s PFN Weekly Digital Show, Pro Football Network Insider Benjamin Allbright says that this is not that case.
Quoting a team source from the Browns, Allbright said, “Any player is available for the right price but we are not actively shopping Odell Beckham nor have we put him on the market. We have received calls about him.”
The segment on PFN Weekly where Allbright talked about this, along with other news and rumors from around the NFL, can be found at the bottom of this post.
Looking at Beckham’s time in Cleveland
The acknowledgment that teams have inquired about Beckham is no surprise. He’s a supreme talent whose time with the Browns hasn’t been the fairytale that he was hoping for when he left the New York Giants. After being brought in to help usher in a new era for the Browns, Beckham’s first season with the team mirrored the offense around him, falling below expectations.
A quick look at the stats show another 1,000 yard season, but Beckham slumped to the lowest receptions and yards per game numbers of his career and his lack of chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield was evident.
As has become par for the course, the Browns decided to start over at head coach, with former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski brought in to replace Freddie Kitchens in an attempt to unlock their potential.
Week 1 looked to be more of the same, though, with Beckham reeling in just three of 10 targets for 22 yards. Publicly, he was supportive of Mayfield and, while he conceded that he’d always like more opportunity, there was little of the drama that has caused critics to label him a distraction in the past.
Podcast: More than Football with Trey Wingo Note: This article continues after the podcast player. To subscribe to More than Football with Trey Wingo and Brett Yarris, find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.
Will the Browns trade Odell Beckham Jr.?
Beckham was acquired in a blockbuster trade in March 2019, which saw him and pass rusher Oliver Vernon moving to Cleveland in exchange for a first-round pick, a third-round pick, guard Kevin Zeitler, and safety Jabril Peppers.
Now, selling Beckham at a discount would be an admission of defeat but it seems unlikely that the teams who have made contact are offering a package of similar value.
As things stand, the Browns have no immediate need to trade Beckham. He’s under contract through the 2023 season and the team will want to give Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, every opportunity to show that he was worth the investment.
Removing arguably his most talented weapon would be difficult to justify, especially after only 17 games. He counts for $14.25 million against the salary cap this year. That number could be enough to dissuade a number of teams, but it’s not an issue for the Browns, who have the most cap space in the league.
What’s next for the Browns and Odell Beckham?
We know that where there is smoke, there is usually fire. But in the case, no one truly knows what’s next for the Browns and Odell Beckham. The rumors have been running rampant almost since Beckham arrived in Cleveland, and they haven’t stopped. Still, the Browns may be tempted to pull the trigger with a new regime in town if they are blown away with an offer.
But, who knows what that offer might be. The trade market has been wildly inconsistent in 2020. The Buffalo Bills gave up a first-round pick and more to acquire Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings, while the Houston Texans demanded far less than that to send DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.
Beckham is a three-time Pro Bowler who, aged 27, should be entering the prime of his career. It’s natural that there’s interest in his services but the Browns are making it clear that any Odell Beckham Jr. trade news is not being pushed by them.
PFN Weekly Digital Show and Segment
You can hear Allbright’s thoughts on Odell Beckham Jr. trade news and rumors, along with other inside information from around the NFL, starting at the 1:00:40 mark.