SportWhy the Giants can't afford to trade Odell Beckham Jr., literally and figuratively
Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors: Three teams engaged in talks for Giants WR
The draft begins April 25, and any team in need of a top-flight receiver would be foolish not to consider a guy like Beckham.
You just purchased a $57,000 Mercedes. (Congrats!) You paid $41,000 in cash, because you have the financial means to flex that hard, but you still owe the bank $16,000.
After driving your Mercedes for months, dealing with some mechanical glitches but still appreciating the car's splendor, somebody asks whether you're willing to sell it. As a return in the sale, that person offers you a couple rental car vouchers and a $5,000 Visa gift card, which your bank won't accept as payment on the $16,000 you still owe.
Would you sell?
Of course not. Now, add three zeros to each of the above figures, and you can understand why an Odell Beckham Jr. trade in 2019 makes little to no sense for the Giants.
NFL trade rumors: 49ers dealing for Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. ‘still possible’
The Giants are willing to listen to offers for Beckham, but are not currently shopping him, according to a report from SNY. The Raiders were reportedly considering Beckham, but they dealt for Antonio Brown, while the Browns could also pursue him. Beckham tallied 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games for the Giants last season. The three-time Pro Bowl player was originally selected by New York out of LSU with the 12th pick in the 2014 draft. He signed a five-year, $95 million extension with the team in August. MORE: Odell Beckham Jr.
The Mercedes sale is not a perfect analogy. But in principle, it is part of the reason New York general manager Dave Gettleman, when asked last week about trade rumors surrounding the star wide receiver,assembled at the NFL Combine that the Giants “didn’t sign Odell Beckham to trade him."
Yet the speculation was fueled Wednesday when CBS's Jason LaCanfora“that for the right price, Odell Beckham can be had" and "Cleveland, Oakland and San Francisco are the teams I've heard most connected to Odell Beckham Jr."
The problems for the Giants when it comes to any scenario in which they trade Beckham in 2019 are, going back to the car analogy, the wasted cash spent to buy the Mercedes and the burden of money still owed to the bank.
NFL trade rumors: Browns acquire WR Odell Beckham Jr. from Giants
In a surprise move, the Browns have added one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Cleveland has picked up Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants, according to NFL Network. BREAKING: The #Browns have traded for #Giants WR Odell Beckham, sources say. The deal is done. I am not joking.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 12, 2019 According to multiple reports the Giants will receive the Browns' first-round, and third-round picks in 2019 along with safety Jabril Peppers. Beckham was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 and has made three Pro Bowls.
The $41,000 represents the $41 million the Giants guaranteed Beckham at signing last summer on. It included a $20 million signing bonus, his 2018 salary of $1.46 million, his 2019 salary of $16.75 million and a small portion ($2.75 million) of his 2020 salary. All of that money is already in Beckham's pocket.
NFL FREE AGENCY:
The $16,000 represents the $16 million in 2019 dead cap with which the Giants would be stuck should they trade Beckham this spring. The $5,000 gift card represents the $5 million in 2019 cap savings the Giants would get in trading Beckham, but those savings don't impact the sunken cost that is the $16 million in dead cap.
The rental car vouchers represent the draft picks the Giants presumably would receive in a Beckham trade. (Again, not a perfect analogy.)
The point is, for a struggling franchise that has roughly $24 million in cap space with which to work in 2019, the dead cap charge that would come with a Beckham trade is too great. There is nothing the Browns, Raiders, 49ers or any potential trade partner can offer to relieve the Giants of that sunken cost.
Giants reportedly viewed Odell Beckham Jr. as a 'pain in the a—' who would only get worse
The Giants have reportedly been trying to trade their star receiver since signing him to a five-year, $90 million deal in 2018. The reason for that is the team was tired of his antics, according to SNY. "He had become too much of a pain in the a—," once source told SNY. "And there was a real fear that eventually it would get worse.
With that said, New York does have a potential work-around if it has decided Beckham needs to be traded. (Presumably for locker-room reasons, or whatever, because there are no football or financial reasons to trade Beckham.)
The Giants could use a post-June 1 trade designation, which would increase their cap savings to $17 million for 2019. The dead cap charge of $16,000 would remain, but it would be split over two years, with a dead cap charge of $4 million in 2019 and a dead cap charge of $12 million pushed back to 2020.
That would provide New York some cap relief this season, in which 38-year-old quarterback Eli Manning carries a cap hit of $23.2 million. Manning — assuming he is not re-signed — would be off the Giants’ books in 2020 when that $12 million dead cap charge arrived.
SN's MOCK DRAFT:
Even under this scenario, though, the Giants essentially will have paid Beckham $41 million for one season, with the financial impact being felt for an additional two years.
Money management aside, Gettleman has one more reason to stand by what seems to be his word and keep Beckham. This is the GM who has been ripped by New York media and fans for, among other questionable roster moves,.
Will Odell Beckham Jr. get restructured contract with Browns?
After Antonio Brown got a restructured contract from the Raiders, Beckham reportedly expects the same treatment with the Browns.
Gettleman, who was hired at the end of the 2017 season, needs to show some clarity in his approach to rebuilding a team that has a combined eight wins in two years after making the playoffs in 2016. His plan to replace Manning is not yet apparent. And evidently, his strategy in improving a defense that ranked 23rd in the NFL in points allowed per game last season does not feature three of the unit's best players in Collins, Damon Harrison (traded to the Lions at the 2018 deadline) and Olivier Vernon, who alsoin trade rumors.
Yet if Gettleman were to trade Beckham a year after signing the receiver to a five-year contract — keep in mind that dealexactly come drama-free — it would be the biggest sign of discombobulation.
Do you want the car or not?
Giants RB Saquon Barkley weighs in on Odell Beckham Jr. trade: 'I was sad to see him go'.
“I was sad to see him go,” Barkley told NJ Advance Media. “But, hopefully he continues to have a great career there in Cleveland.” Barkley said he spoke with Beckham shortly after the deal was announced. “We talked over Facetime, he had just gotten traded, so I don’t think he was really happy about it,” Barkley said. “He just gave me some advice about how to handle stuff in the league. He was the same old big brother to me that he’s always been.” Barkley rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 games for New York as a rookie last season. He also added four receiving scores.