Browns acquiring OBJ from Giants, source says

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

TheNew York Giantshave agreed to trade Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, a source confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter, in a blockbuster deal that sends the star receiver out of New York less than a year after he signed a massive contract with the team.

The Giants will receive the Browns' first-round pick (No. 17 overall) and second third-round pick (95th overall) in next month's draft, along with safety Jabrill Peppers, the source said.

In a text message to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Beckham simply said of the trade, "Wow."

A source told ESPN's Pat McManamon that the Browns and Giants will combine last week'sOlivier Vernon-Kevin Zeitlertrade and the Beckham deal into one. The terms will have the Browns getting Beckham and Vernon for Zeitler, Peppers and the picks included in the Beckham trade. The swap of fourth- and fifth-round picks earlier agreed to in the Vernon-Zeitler deal (132nd overall to Cleveland and 155th overall to New York) will not be part of the final trade.

Beckham told Anderson that current Browns receiver and former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry called him and said Cleveland general manager John Dorsey and first-year coach Freddie Kitchens wanted Beckham badly. Beckham then said Giants GM Dave Gettleman called him and said, "I am trading you to the Browns."

Beckham, 26, signed a five-year deal with the Giants worth up to $98.5 million in August. It made him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL at the time and seemed to cement his place on the Giants' roster.

But after another disastrous season in which the Giants flopped at 5-11 and Beckham had several incidents that angered the team's brass, the Giants decided to move him after paying out $21.5 million for 12 games. The trade adds $16 million in dead money to their running total.

The Giants weren't shopping Beckham this offseason. But they were willing to listen to offers, and there were teams interested in his services. Among them were the Browns and San Francisco 49ers, according to sources.

Gettleman hadn't indicated publicly that the Giants were interested in a deal, saying at his end-of-year news conference and again at the NFL scouting combine last month: "We didn't sign Odell to trade him. OK?"

That changed Tuesday, as Dorsey came up with a package the Giants couldn't resist.

"John Dorsey is officially a genius ..." Browns defensive back Damarious Randalltweeted.

Beckham will join Landry, his good friend, to form arguably the top receiving tandem in the league, which no doubt will delight second-year quarterback and 2018 No. 1 draft pick Baker Mayfield. Beckham and Mayfield are already tight; they spent part of last summer working out in California with Landry, who has been campaigning since he arrived in Cleveland for his former college teammate to join him.

When news of the agreement broke, Mayfield posted on Twitter a photo of him shaking hands with Beckham. "Movement" was the caption.

Beckham and Landry, who have seven Pro Bowl selections between them, recorded 288 receptions apiece in their first three NFL seasons. Only Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints recorded more (321).

Beckham has been explosive throughout his NFL career; his 12 touchdown catches with at least 20 yards after the catch are the most in the league since 2014. Landry has been more of a short-to-intermediate-route receiver, with a career average target depth of 7.2 yards, which ranks 87th out of 92 wide receivers with at least 200 targets in that span (since t2014).

Browns receivers coach Adam Henry coached both receivers at LSU.

They'll lead an emerging offense that includes running back Nick Chubb, who last season had the most rushing yards ever by a Browns rookie (996), and David Njoku, who in 2018 finished in the top 10 among tight ends in receptions (56) and receiving yards (639).

Cleveland has been busy this offseason. It signed running back Kareem Hunt to a one-year deal (he's currently on the commissioner's exempt list), traded forVernon and agreed to a deal with free-agent defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.

On Wednesday, the Browns reached agreement with former Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris on a two-year deal, a source told Schefter. Harris had 12 catches for 164 yards and three TDs last season.

New York appears to be in rebuilding mode, trading Vernon, not putting a franchise tag on safety Landon Collins (who will sign with the Washington Redskins) and dealing its top playmaker.

The Giants now have three of the top 37 draft picks in April and 12 overall. Peppers, who is from New Jersey, will help fill the void left by Collins' departure. A first-round pick in 2017, he struggled as a rookie but bounced back and played well last season.

News of the Beckham deal, which was first reported by NFL Network, had an immediate impact in Las Vegas. Cleveland's odds to win the Super Bowl went from 25-1 to 14-1 at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Its odds to win the AFC went from 12-1 to 7-1, behind those of only Kansas City and New England (3-1).

The Browns went 7-8-1 last season after not winning a game in 2017. They haven't reached the playoffs since 2002.

Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett, when asked whether the Browns are the team to beat in the AFC North, told NFL Network, "Absolutely. I think the tide has turned, and we can't wait to get out there and prove it."

Ohio native LeBron James reacted on Instagram to the deal, saying: "OH MY!!!! S*#% just got REAL!!" Beckham responded: "Lemme hold the crib down."

Meanwhile, New York's Super Bowl odds went from 40-1 to 80-1, and its NFC title odds from 20-1 to 40-1, according to Westgate.

ESPN's Jordan Raanan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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