NFL trade rumors: Browns in talks with Vikings for former Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

By Joe Pantorno

Despite being one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL, former New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, now of the Cleveland Browns, is facing the possibility of being traded for the second time in two years. 

WFAN’s Marc Malusis reported on Wednesday morning that the Browns are in talks with the Minnesota Vikings about a deal that would send Beckham to the Twin Cities.

In return, the Browns would get back a second and fifth-round selection in next year’s NFL Draft — though Malusis was quick to add that the deal is not done, just being discussed.  

Beckham was traded by the Giants to the Browns ahead of the 2019 season — shortly after inking him to a five-year, $95 million extension — for safety Jabrill Peppers, and a first and third-round pick in the 2019 draft. 

It was a puzzling end to an enigmatic stint with the Giants. While Beckham was one of the most productive receivers in the NFL while on the field, distractions on the sidelines and off the gridiron often saw him in the limelight for the wrong reasons. 

The Giants’ decision to trade him to Cleveland quickly made the Browns appear to be a developing juggernaut in the AFC. Alongside young quarterback Baker Mayfield, Beckham was joining an offense that also boasted his longtime friend and fellow wide receiver, Jarvis Landry, alongside budding rusher Nick Chubb. 

But the Browns could only muster six wins in 2019 while Beckham had his worst statistical full season as a pro, posting 74 receptions for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games. He had more receptions, yards, and touchdowns in 12 games with the Giants in 2018. 

The lack of production had plenty to do with sharing the spotlight with Landry — something he never experienced as a Giant — and the continued struggles of Mayfield under center, but a possible trade to Minnesota doesn’t necessarily provide greener pastures for Beckham. 

While Kirk Cousins is more of a proven quarterback compared to Mayfield, the veteran had issues keeping top-two pass catchers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs involved, prompting both players to voice their displeasure with their lack of targets

The inconsistencies prompted Diggs to work his way out of Minnesota, surmounting to a trade to the Buffalo Bills last month. 

With Thielen still very much in the fold in Minnesota, Beckham would have to compete for targets from a quarterback with a proven history of struggling to spread the wealth.

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