The Giants’ decision to trade Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns for safety Jabrill Peppers and a first and third-round pick was “purely a football decision.”
At least that is how GM Dave Gettleman is justifying it.
The Giants GM addressed the trade that shocked the NFL last week on a conference call with reporters on Monday and insisted that the reason for making the deal was because they received an offer that was just too good to pass up.
“We didn’t sign him to trade him, but obviously things changed,” Gettleman said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. “Another team made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”
A source told SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano shortly after the deal went down that Beckham had “become a pain in the ass” and that there was a fear it could get worse.
Yet Gettleman insisted it was all about making the Giants a better team and that here was no “he said, she said” drama that led to the trade.
“A lot of stuff factors in,” Gettleman said. “To move Odell, the other team was going to have to knock it out of the park. We were not actively shopping him. For us to get Peppers, who we think is going to be a very good safety in this league … to get another (first-round pick) this year, to get that value in this draft and a third (round pick) … it was too much to pass up. Too much value for us.”
The Giants GM revealed he spoke with three teams about Beckham but initiated just one conversation, which was with Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane, whom Gettleman has a close relationship with and knew was interested in Antonio Brown.
“I called Buffalo after learning they had conversations on Antonio Brown,” he said. “I good-naturedly chided Brandon about not calling us and that’s where it ended.”
Otherwise, it was other teams approaching the Giants about Beckham.
Gettleman said he had conversations with the San Francisco 49ers but the two sides could not reach an agreement before Browns GM John Dorsey reached out to Gettleman.
“He knew we weren’t going to give Odell away,” Gettleman said. “There was considerable back-and-forth.”
The two sides struck a deal on March 12 but Gettleman was asked why he did not attempt to shop around for a better deal.
“When it comes to trading, the team that makes the call is playing from behind,” he said. “You’re in a much better position of strength when a team calls you.”
Gettleman believes that strategy paid off, too. He considered Peppers, a 2017 first-round draft pick, as another first-round pick in addition to the first and third-round picks he received from the Browns.
“My barometer or litmus test is the franchise tag,” Gettleman said. “If we had not signed Odell back in August and the season played out and we put the franchise tag on him, if another team signed him and we didn’t match the offer, we would have gotten two first-round picks. That was my litmus test.”
While the Giants GM understands the merits of the trade will be debated, he stressed patience when evaluating the trade because what those picks evolve into are unknown.
“Odell was a tremendous talent, making him a valuable asset,” he said. “Football is the ultimate team game, and we turned that into three assets.”