On Monday, speaking to the media for the first time since trading Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said the Cleveland Browns offered up a package for the wide receiver that he simply could not refuse.
“Some have questioned why we signed Odell and then traded him. As I said publicly twice, we didn’t sign him to trade him, but obviously things change,” Gettleman said. “Frankly, what changed is a team made an offer we couldn’t refuse. As it turns out, the fact that he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and enabled us to get legitimate value.”
That “legitimate value” came by way of a first-round pick, third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers, who was reportedly a make or break part of the deal. Eventually, the Browns caved and included Peppers, and Gettleman counts that as an additional first-round pick in terms of overall value.
“Just for the sake of discussion, or explanation, if we had not signed Odell back in August, and we had played the season out and we had put the franchise tag on him — if another team had signed him, and we didn’t match it, we would’ve gotten two first-round picks. So, that was my litmus test,” Gettleman said.
“Oh, and by the way, as a point of reference, it has only happened once in league history, that was in ’98 with Carolina signing Sean Gilbert off the franchise tag. Again, as our litmus test, it turns out we not only got two first-round picks, but we also got a third.”
But, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Giants not only could have gotten more in exchange for Beckham had they shopped him more aggressively, but were actually offered significantly more for the superstar previously.
“I know — know — there were other teams that offered the Giants more than the Browns did for Odell Beckham Jr.,” Schefter said on The Best Laid Plans podcast.
Gettleman acknowledged that he placed a call to the Buffalo Bills after their attempted trade for Antonio Brown fell through, but got rebuffed.
So, who might have offered the Giants more than the Browns? The only other team known to have been involved was the San Francisco 49ers, who were unwilling to cough up the No. 2 overall pick in exchange for Beckham.
Is this another scenario similar to that of Landon Collins where false reports surfaced that the Giants had been offered a first-round pick and said no, or might Gettleman really have whiffed and missed out on a significantly larger haul for one of the NFL’s biggest superstars?
If the latter is true and Schefter’s report is accurate, Gettleman faces an ever greater uphill battle in getting Giants fans to trust his rather bizarre process.