INDIANAPOLIS – In the Odell Beckham playbook, this one is called “We didn’t sign him to trade him.”
Those seven words were uttered by Giants general manager Dave Gettleman at the 2019 NFL Combine, two weeks before he shipped Beckham to the Browns. So, it is understandable if a skeptical Beckham heard his team’s new general manager Andrew Berry speak Tuesday and started packing his bags.
In one breath: “We view him as part of our future. We’re excited about the future with Odell, excited about what he’s going to do this fall.”
In another, when asked specifically in a smaller pack of media about Beckham’s availability if an inquiring trade partner calls: “It’s something that you always pick up the phone and you listen to anything across the table.”
Sounds eerily reminiscent of the Giants’ approach: We won’t call you (to avoid the optics of shopping Beckham), but call us with your best offer! Beckham still harbors a grudge toward Gettleman and former Giants coach Pat Shurmur for not being more up front about his status.
NFL sources told The Post a Beckham trade this offseason likely would fetch less of a return than the Giants received: A first-round pick, a third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers.
Beckham is a year older (27), coming off a mediocre season (74 catches, 1,035 yards, four touchdowns) by his outrageous standards and underwent core muscle surgery in January. An inability to make it work with a second team would increase the perception of baggage that used to be blamed on the too-conservative Giants.
“I actually think the league as a whole is really engaging the trade market probably more aggressively in the last couple years,” Berry said.
Berry, 32, is the youngest general manager in NFL history, hired after and with input from new coach Kevin Stefanski. He worked for the Browns from 2016-18 before a one-year stint as Eagles vice president of football operations under aggressive general manager Howie Roseman.
Beckham has four years remaining on the $90 million extension he signed with the Giants. Thought to be seeking a chance to play in his offseason home of Los Angeles, Beckham initially sounded lukewarm on returning to the Browns in 2020 but changed his tune before season’s end.
“Odell’s a very talented football player,” Berry said. “Kevin and I both have really good conversations about our expectations for him and we expect him to adapt to those moving forward.”