The Cleveland Browns officially acquired receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants at the start of the new league year Wednesday, and the three-time Pro Bowler is looking forward to what the future holds.
"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to be part of this organization and the direction they are headed. I've already witnessed the energy fans bring in that city having been to some playoff games at the Q. Browns fans deserve a winning football team. This is a fresh start for me, and it's going to be great to join Baker (Mayfield) and Jarvis (Landry) on this team. I will always appreciate the opportunity the Giants granted me, and I'm thankful to them along with the fans and people in that city for supporting me.
"The Browns are an organization that is moving forward, and it's exciting to be a part of something special that is in the process of being built. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I really feel like it's time for the Browns to come together, start winning a lot of games and I'm grateful to be a part of that going forward."
Cleveland acquired Beckham and defensive end Olivier Vernon in exchange for guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers, a 2019 first-round pick and a 2019 third-round pick.
"He's probably if not the one, one or two best receivers in the National Football League," Browns general manager John Dorsey said of Beckham. "Very rarely do you get a chance to acquire a player of this magnitude. He's at a relatively young age. He's got a lot of football left in him. Great hands, great work ethic, committed, competitive, he really wants to be great. And that's all you can ask for."
The trade comes less than seven months after Beckham signed a record-setting five-year, $95 million extension with the Giants. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the 26-year-old star wants to restructure his deal following the trade.
Landing in Cleveland reunites Beckham with former LSU Tigers teammate Jarvis Landry. Not only that, but the Browns offense is loaded with talent beyond its two star wideouts. 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and David Njoku provide first-year coach Freddie Kitchens with plenty of firepower to work with.
Beckham is moving from a team that played in just one playoff game in his five-year stint to a franchise that has not reached the postseason since 2002-03 and is just one year removed from a winless season. However, there has been a lot of optimism surrounding Cleveland following a seven-win jump last season—and that was before the acquisitions of Hunt, Vernon and Beckham.
Beckham has piled up 1,000-plus yards in four of his first five seasons, with the lone exception coming during an injury-shortened campaign. If he and the rest of the Browns' playmakers can stay healthy, Cleveland should have the opportunity to try to snap its extended playoff drought.