Cleveland lost LeBron but they gained OBJ. After much speculation and rumors, the New York Giants traded star wide-receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns for the 17th pick in the 2019 draft, Cleveland’s 3rd round pick, and safety Jabril Peppers. This marks the 3rd time in less than a week David Gettleman has allowed a well-known member of the G-Men walk with Olivier Vernon being traded to Cleveland previously and Landon Collins signing with the Washington Redskins. With this move, you have a better understanding of what Gettleman is planning to do.
By acquiring Peppers, 23, Gettleman obtained a younger and cheaper safety than Collins who signed a mega-deal of 84 million over 6 years with the Washington Redskins. There is also a theme of how Gettleman wants to build up the defense with young talent just like the great championship teams of the past. Nose Guard Dalvin Tomlinson, 25, performance was so impressive Big Blue traded away Pro Bowler Damon “Snacks” Harrison which also allowed an opportunity for rookie B.J Hill, 22, to get increased playing time. As the season went on linebacker Lorenzo Carter, 23, kept on improving and could be a stabilizing force where the Giants defense has really lacked a playmaker. Now on the Giants defense, there are currently four starters all under the age of 25 who are playing under their rookie contracts which gives the Giants increased cap flexibility.
With the trade of OBJ, Saquon Barkley is now the focal point of the Giants offense. While Barkley has unreal athletic ability, there are still areas where Saquon can expand his game. For example, everyone has seen the highlight reel runs by Barkley but Barkley needs to have the consistent 4 yard runs that wear down the opposition and the ability to have consistent 4-yard runs should benefit the Giants 2 minute drill. Still for the sake of Barkley’s longevity, Big Blue should find a suitable number 2 running back behind Barkley to optimize Barkley’s performance.
Eli Manning’s future can also come into question as now Eli lost his number one wide receiver and with the departure of Vernon and Collins it appears Big Blue is going into rebuild mode. Unfortunately, when rebuilding an NFL franchise a 38-year-old quarterback is not in the plans. While the departure of Eli is unlikely before the 2019 season now more than ever the G-Men will try and find Eli’s replacement and make sure he is ready for the 2020 season.