In a stunning move, the New York Giants traded star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday night, per multiple reports.
In return, the Giants are receiving the Browns' first-round pick in the 2019 draft (No. 17), a third-round pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers.
The move continues an offseason of surprising moves from general manager Dave Gettleman, who has made the decision to retain veteran quarterback Eli Manning while letting All-Pro safety Landon Collins walk in free agency. He is officially signing with the Washington Redskins today.
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Peppers will be seen as Collins' true replacement just hours after the Giants signed veteran safety Antoine Bethea. The 23-year-old has recorded 136 combined tackles and two interceptions in 29 career games.
On the offensive side of the ball, the 38-year-old Manning, who will be in the final year of his contract while providing a $23 million cap hit, now will be without his No. 1 target as the Giants' offense has been gutted of one of its best players.
Beckham has been one of the most electrifying receivers in the game since debuting in 2014, posting over 1,300 yards in each of his first three NFL seasons with a combined 35 touchdowns before a broken ankle limited his 2017 season to just four games. He bounced back nicely last season with 1,072 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games.
New York's skill players were generally seen as a bright spot on the struggling franchise as Beckham headlined a group that also featured Sterling Shepard, tight end Evan Engram, and second-year running back sensation Saquon Barkley.
Gettleman made it clear on multiple occasions over the past year that the Giants had no intent on trading Beckham after they signed him to a five-year, $95 million extension prior to the 2018 season. It was a vote of confidence after doubts arose about the 26-year-old's attitude on and off the field.
A more mature Beckham seemed plenty deserving of the new deal in 2018, but a combined eight wins over the past two seasons makes it seem that Gettleman is ready to tear most of it down.
In Cleveland, Beckham will join a promising offense that features second-year quarterback and reigning No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield and his good friend from LSU, wide receiver Jarvis Landry.