Possible Landing Spots, NFL Trade Packages for Odell Beckham Jr.
The Odell Beckham Jr. rumor mill is roaring.
On Sunday, New York Giants co-owner John Mara wouldn't commit to the superstar wide receiver being on the team's roster next season, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.
And on Monday alone, there was a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that Beckham "will not set foot on a field without a new contract extension," another report from Bob Glauber and Tom Rock of Newsday that the team prefers an extension to a trade, yet another report from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News that the Los Angeles Rams are interested in trading for Beckham and one more report from NFL Network's Kimberly Jones that the Giants are not shopping OBJ and that a trade "probably won't happen."
If the Giants pull the trigger on a deal involving the 25-year-old, where might he land and for what price? Let's break it down.
What Do the Giants Want?
Everyone has their price.
What will it take for the Giants to deal Beckham?
Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith smartly started by looking at the deal the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings made involving wide receiver Percy Harvin five years ago. At the time, Harvin was a uniquely talented first-round pick entering the final year of his rookie deal (and his fifth season) in his mid-20s.
The Vikings dealt Harvin in exchange for first- and seventh-round picks in that year's draft and a third-rounder in the next year's draft. Beckham is a more accomplished player than Harvin then, but that was still considered to be a hell of a haul.
Beckham caught at least 90 passes for 1,300-plus yards and 10 or more touchdowns in each of his first three NFL seasons, earning Pro Bowl nods in all three. Any potential suitors are certainly going to have to be willing to part with their first-round pick, plus additional picks and/or players.
And if you're willing to pay a price like that, you probably aren't going to be satisfied with a single season with Beckham on the roster. Beckham's resume and career trajectory suggest he should be in line to become the highest-paid receiver in NFL history, and it doesn't look as though he'd be willing to settle for anything short of that.
So, who would be down to fork over a first-round pick, possibly more players and/or picks and sacrifice about $20 million in annual salary-cap space for the next four-plus years in order to employ Beckham?
Could the Rams Add Beckham to Their Superteam?
Leonard's report, which cited "multiple NFL sources," hit the internet before the Los Angeles Rams handed a one-year, $14 million deal to defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. But few would have expected the Rams to be in on Suh after acquiring veteran stars Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, so would it be surprising to see them pursue Beckham at this point?
Even after signing Suh, the Rams will still have more than $20 million in salary-cap space. If they think Beckham could be the final piece of the puzzle, they just might be willing to part with a first-round pick as well as a primo pick in 2019, even if that'd leave them with no selections before the bottom half of the third round this year.
They also have a few young receivers to dangle instead of an additional pick, so there are options here.
Rams receive: Beckham
Giants receive: No. 23 overall pick in 2018, third-round pick in 2019, WR Cooper Kupp
Could OBJ Help the Chargers Win over Los Angeles?
The Los Angeles Chargers have two picks in the top 50, including the No. 17 overall selection, and just enough salary-cap space to make room for a long-term Beckham deal. And while the offense doesn't lack weapons, the Chargers could be motivated to bring in a megastar like Beckham for non-football reasons.
The franchise endured a rocky maiden season in Los Angeles. The Chargers often felt like the road team in their miniature temporary home stadium, and their future landlords—the Rams—have a clear advantage over them in the fight for Los Angeles pro football supremacy.
The Bolts have been quiet this offseason, but the free-agent market didn't offer them a chance to bring in a player with a resume or Q Score like Beckham's. If they see him as the potential new face of the franchise, they could give chase—especially if their L.A. counterparts might be interested.
Chargers receive: Beckham
Giants receive: No. 17 overall pick in 2018, fourth-round pick in 2019, WR Keenan Allen
And Then There's That Other California Team
While the Chargers could be in on Beckham in order to keep pace with the Rams off the field, the San Francisco 49ers might wind up showing interest in order to keep pace with the Rams on the field.
L.A.'s NFC squad has spent the offseason trying to separate further from the NFC West pack, but the 49ers are their top challenger after finishing the 2017 regular season on a five-game winning streak under newly crowned franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
San Francisco could certainly use an elite weapon for Garoppolo, who received a five-year, $137.5 million contract earlier this offseason, and general manager John Lynch has the No. 9 overall pick in the draft at his disposal. A package containing that pick plus another and/or a young defensive lineman like DeForest Buckner or Solomon Thomas could do the job.
Plus, the Niners have more cap space than anyone in the NFC, which means they can probably outspend the Rams or any other potential Beckham suitor except one...
49ers receive: Beckham
Giants receive: No. 9 overall pick in 2018, fourth-round pick in 2018
The Browns Have the Capital
Yes, when it comes to potential Beckham trade destinations, the Cleveland Browns have by far the most capital. Not only do they possess a league-high $71 million in cap space in order to secure Beckham long-term, but they hold two of the top four picks in the first round and two of the top three picks in the second round of the 2018 draft.
The Browns could easily part with one of those first-rounders, add Beckham to a receiving corps that already includes his pal Jarvis Landry, sign both Beckham and Landry to long-term deals and select a potential future franchise quarterback first overall.
Landry is already lobbying for Beckham on Twitter, and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported Monday that Cleveland general manager John Dorsey had coffee with Giants GM Dave Gettleman at the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando.
So there's at least some smoke here.
Browns receive: Beckham, third-round pick in 2018
Giants receive: No. 4 overall pick in 2018
One More Splash in Jacksonville?
After spending about a trillion dollars in order to build a roster that finally was good enough to contend in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars weren't supposed to be major players on the free-agent or trade markets this offseason. But one of the most talented teams in football wasn't satisfied, so early in free agency the Jags made Andrew Norwell the highest-paid interior offensive lineman in NFL history.
What if they aren't done?
They're sticking with Blake Bortles at quarterback, and with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns both gone, they have room to upgrade the receiving corps. Add a healthy Beckham to that team and it's hard not to see them as a prime Super Bowl contender regardless of what they get from Bortles.
The problem is the Jags might not have what it takes to land Beckham. They have each of their first four draft picks but aren't on the clock until the No. 29 spot in Round 1, and they only have about $14 million in cap space.
Jaguars receive: Beckham
Giants receive: No. 29 overall pick, third-round pick in 2019, DE Dante Fowler Jr.
The Titans Have the Ammunition
Like the Jaguars, the Tennessee Titans don't have a high-end draft pick to peddle this offseason. But unlike the Jags, the Titans have the cap space to sign a player like Beckham to a long-term deal without having to miss a meal.
An argument can be made that if cap-rich teams like the Titans, 49ers and Rams truly wanted a star receiver that badly, they'd have brought in Robinson or traded for Landry. A counterargument might be that Beckham is an entirely different animal, and that nobody else available this offseason has possessed that kind of star power.
But unlike all of the other teams listed here, the Titans used a top-five pick in the 2017 draft on a wide receiver. If they truly believe in Corey Davis, trading for Beckham would be a strange move.
Still, don't rule it out.
Titans receive: Beckham
Giants receive: No. 25 overall pick in 2018, third-round pick in 2019, WR Taywan Taylor
How Desperate Are the Ravens?
A Beckham trade to Baltimore might be far-fetched, but the Ravens know how much they need a game-changer on offense. They were so desperate for a potential No. 1 receiver this offseason, that at the start of free agency they gave a four-year, $29 million contract to Ryan Grant, who has 985 receiving yards and six touchdowns in four NFL seasons.
It was probably a blessing in disguise when Grant failed his physical (and signed with the Colts), and soon after they signed veteran Michael Crabtree instead. But quarterback Joe Flacco still clearly lacks weapons in the receiving corps, and a Beckham-Crabtree tandem would immediately change the outlook in Baltimore.
The Ravens just might be willing to part with multiple top-notch draft picks (including their No. 16 overall selection in 2018) in exchange for a player like Beckham, but they don't have a lot of young talent with which to sweeten a potential trade pot. And on top of that, they rank in the bottom 10 in cap space.
That said, more unexpected things have happened in this league.
Ravens receive: Beckham
Giants receive: No. 16 overall pick in 2018, fifth-round pick in 2019, WR Breshad Perriman
Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL for Bleacher Report since 2012. Salary-cap information courtesy of Spotrac.com.