The Browns are acquiring star WR Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants in exchange for a first-rounder (No. 17 overall), third-rounder (No. 95) and former first-round safety Jabrill Peppers in a bombshell of a trade first reported by NFL Media's Mike Garafolo on Tuesday evening.
Giants GM Dave Gettleman is dealing his best player less than seven months after signing him to a five-year, $90 million extension. Over the past week, the Giants also let their second-best player, Landon Collins, walk in free agency to sign a record deal with rival Washington and traded top pass rusher Oliver Vernon to — wait for it — the Browns in exchange for OG Kevin Zeitler.
Oh yeah, the Giants also announced they’re bringing back 38-year-old Eli Manning, who will collect a $5 million roster bonus next week, for a 15th season.
Indeed, these two franchises — the Browns, until recently the NFL’s biggest laughingstock; the Giants the only NFC franchise with two Super Bowls this century — couldn’t be headed more in opposite directions.
While the Giants continue wasting time wallowing between a total teardown and clinging to mediocrity, the Browns have undergone a swift transformation under John Dorsey into what appears to be a bona fide Super Bowl contender.
No wonder, then, they’re swinging for the fences on Beckham to give last year’s No.1 overall pick and Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up Baker Mayfield one of the game’s most electrifying playmakers. OBJ will team with former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry, TE David Njoku, RB Nick Chubb and, pending his imminent personal-conduct suspension, fellow RB Kareem Hunt to form a lethal offense for new head coach Fred Kitchens.
There might not be a more entertaining team to watch in the NFL than the Browns next season.
As for the Giants, by the time Gettleman is done alienating their fans, it might be some time before they’re ready to resume watching Big Blue again. It's Saquon Barkley, and then not much else of a reason to tune in for New York. If there’s any silver lining at all, it’s that Gettleman has basically backed himself into a corner to select Manning’s successor next month. Many will argue it was too little too late.