On March 12, 2019, the New York Giants decided to trade star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr to the Cleveland Browns. At the time, this seemed like an amazing deal for the Browns, and the Giants would be kicking themselves for the decision. It has been two years since the deal went down, and both teams are going in completely different directions. The best way to analyze this trade is to break down every player involved.
Odell Beckham Jr Trade: Two Years Ago
The Browns exchanged a 2019 first-round pick and a 2019 third-round pick, along with safety Jabrill Peppers for the electric wide receiver. The Giants decided that this was the best package they received for Beckham Jr, stating that they viewed Peppers as a “second first-rounder.”
“Franchise tag value is two first round picks,” Gettleman said. “We got two ones and a three, one of them being a player. I think really and truly you are not going to be able to know the value. You are not going to be able to give a Roman Coliseum thumb up or thumb down on this trade for a little bit. We have to see how Jabrill develops, and we have to see who this number one is, who this number three is.”
Who Did the Picks Turn Into?
The first rounder the Giants received from the Browns was used on defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence with the 17th-pick in the 2019 draft. The third rounder was used on outside linebacker Oshane Ximines with the 95th-overall pick. Lawrence has quietly been one of the best young interior defensive linemen since entering the league. Playing with the likes of Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams definitely helped Lawrence’s growth over the last two seasons. Lawrence has recorded 91 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 19 quarterback hits, while appearing in all 32 possible games.
Oshane Ximines has a lot of untapped potential that still needs to be shown on the field. Paired with another young outside linebacker in Lorenzo Carter, the Giants hoped that Ximines would create a consistent pass rush for them. In his rookie season, Ximines recorded 4.5 sacks, five tackles for a loss and nine quarterback hits in just 45% of defensive snaps. Fans were hoping with more playing time in 2020, he would flourish and improve his pass rush ability even more. Unfortunately, Ximines underwent season-ending shoulder surgery after Week 4. He is expected to be healthy for the season opener, and the Giants hope he can be another contributor to a surging defense.
Jabrill Peppers’ Growth
Peppers was one of the most hyped players coming out of college back in 2017. Since being traded to New York, Peppers has been one of the best players and leaders on this young defense. In two seasons with the Giants, Peppers has recorded 167 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, two interceptions and 16 passes defensed.
Peppers really began to flourish in 2020, behind an improved secondary that included James Bradberry, Logan Ryan and rookies Xavier McKinney and Darnay Holmes. 11/16 of Peppers’ passes defensed came in 2020.
Peppers has become one of the more fun players to watch on Sundays. His personality and play on the field has already made him a fan-favorite. Hopefully he can continue to produce for his hometown team for years to come.
Odell Beckham Jr’s Cleveland Tenure
The majority of Giants fans still hate whenever someone brings up this man’s name. Even though he was arguably the best receiver the Giants had in the last decade, Dave Gettleman believed that the team would be better off without him.
In two years with the Browns, Beckham has 97 catches for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns. To put this into perspective, Beckham’s best season with the Giants had him catching 96 passes for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns. Everything has not been great for him since joining the Browns, especially with injury concerns. He tore his ACL in 2020 after just seven games.
While Beckham has not had the same production he would have liked to have in Cleveland, he is still an electric player with the ball in his hands, and can still do all the things he did while he was in New York. He is getting up there in age, and is rehabbing his injury. Despite not recording top numbers anymore, he is still a great piece in the Browns offense and will look to contribute to a team coming off of their first playoff birth since 2002.
The One Flaw
The one major flaw in this trade was replacing Beckham’s production, which the Giants have failed miserably at. One day after trading Beckham, Dave Gettleman decided to sign Golden Tate, who was cut two weeks ago. The Giants have not had a number one wide receiver since, and will look to add one this off-season either through free agency or the draft.
Last Word on the Trade
Fans have different opinions as to who won this trade. It has worked out somewhat well for both sides. The Giants have two defensive studs and one that has a lot of potential. Despite the injuries, Beckham is still a clear contributor to that Browns team and a veteran that can help guide younger players who enter the system.
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