Hey, Cleveland Fans, have you been able to catch your breath yet?
Some fans are probably still in disbelief and at a loss for words over, perhaps, the biggest trade in Browns history.
On Tuesday evening, Cleveland traded a first round and a third round pick (both in the 2019 draft) and safety Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants for Odell Beckham Jr.
There have been rumors of Beckham being traded to Cleveland for some time now. Beckham’s close friend and teammate at LSU, Jarvis Landry, was lobbying the Browns front office to go out and get OBJ since last summer.
Beckham is one of, if not the most talented player in the NFL and is a top-three player at his position. The LSU product has had a very productive five-year career so far. He has put up over 1,000 yards in all but one season (except 2017 when he played just four games). In those five seasons, Beckham has caught 44 touchdown passes.
There is already familiarity between Beckham and the Browns.
From 2011-2013, OBJ and Landry were teammates at LSU, forming one of the more exciting duos in college football. Now, the two finally get to play with each other and bring one-handed catches to Cleveland.
The Browns receivers coach, Adam Henry, coached both Landry and Beckham at LSU. From 2016-2017, Henry was the receivers coach with the Giants. In 2016, Beckham had perhaps his best season in the NFL, getting 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns on a career-high 101 catches.
And last offseason, Baker Mayfield, Landry, and Beckham all worked out together in Southern California.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) July 16, 2018
With Beckham now in the fold, he makes the already talented Browns offense that much better. When Jarvis Landry is a team’s second option in the passing game, the offense has to be talented.
And that is what it is.
Mayfield is going to continue to take big steps forward after a wonderful rookie season.
The running game consists of Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson (for how much longer we don’t know), and Kareem Hunt (who is eligible to come back in Week 9 after his eight game suspension).
And as far as pass catchers go, Beckham and Landry may now have formed one of the best WR tandems in the league. In addition to the two former LSU Tigers, Mayfield has Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway, and David Njoku at his disposal.
Getting OBJ out of NYC may be the best thing for his career.
Eli Manning is getting much older and struggling to throw the ball down the field and to his receivers- he threw 11 picks in 2018.
Giving Beckham a quarterback like Mayfield who can throw the ball downfield, into tight windows, and accurately as well as anyone else in the league is no doubt a benefit for Beckham.
He will not be as frustrated with his lack of catches due to bad throws. Mayfield will be able to hit OBJ in stride either on a slant route that he runs to perfection or on a 25 to 30-yard route downfield that Beckham can beat his defender on with is speed.
Those looks will open up opportunities for the running game to shine even more than it did a season ago and give chances to Landry and Njoku to operate in their own ways.
Oh, and Cleveland has one of the best offensive lines in football. The Giants, well, they had one of the worst. And outside of Saquon Barkley, New York did not have anything on offense.
Throw in Odell Beckham with the weapons and players Cleveland has with a legit quarterback and a legit offensive line and Browns offense can rival Kansas City and New Orleans for the best in the league.
In what could be the biggest move since the Browns returned to football in 1999, and maybe the biggest move in the franchise’s 74 year history.
John Dorsey got away with some highway robbery in what he gave up for Beckham, and Browns fans are still trying to contain their excitement over the trade.