September 18, 2021

My Evolving Stance on the OBJ Trade

Twitter can be a very unforgiving platform on which to express your views. I was against the pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr in a trade. It’s nothing against him. He’s a great player. I just thought between a high price tag, a lucrative contract and a receiver who would require the football more times each game than practicality would dictate, it was a bad idea. I also wanted to see the Browns continue to build up their defense, allocating assets in that direction whenever possible. I was surprised when the trade went down and have been trying to reconcile it to my perception of team needs ever since.

Breshad Perriman signed a one year deal prior to yesterday’s trade. that gave the Browns some nice depth at the receiver position. Albeit, the cry for a “true number one” still echoed from the fanbase. I really thought that was enough with the way Browns QB Baker Mayfield spreads the ball around and finds tight windows. John Dorsey wanted more for his sophomore QB and new Head Coach Freddie Kitchens.

The deal itself is a matter of perspective.

Giants fans believe they didn’t get nearly enough for their standout receiver. Browns fans are split. Some believe it was a heist, while some see value in what the Browns sent to New York. Sure, there is no guarantee that the 17th pick in the draft will be a great player, but I like my chances when Mr. Dorsey is the guy making that selection. The third round pick is compensation for Danny Shelton, which is no big loss. Jabrill Peppers came on strong last season and fills a need for the Giants. This wasn’t a throw in of an average player. Peppers is on the rise.

Why Peppers?

Good question. I woke up thinking about that this morning. The Browns probably aren’t ready to go back to Derrick Kindred as a starter. Here’s the reason. Peppers was drafted in the first round with Myles Garrett and David Njoku three years ago. The Brown have to be able to sign Garrett at a minimum when his contract is up. They weren’t going to extend all three first round players in two years.

There is talk about restructuring OBJ’s contract. I don’t know what will be involved there. All I can say is that his current contract is not as bad as I thought. There is no guaranteed money after 2019 and his yearly salary is around $15 M. For him, that really isn’t bad.

The lack of guaranteed money is important because of the Antonio Brown factor. The Steelers have $21 M in dead cap. In the worst case scenario, the Browns wouldn’t have an issue like that, which was one of my concerns. What if OBJ is more about OBJ than the Cleveland Browns? I don’t think that will happen since he is playing with his friends here, but it is good to have protection against it.

I tweeted last night that I didn’t like the trade, but would support it. After my research, I’m still not sure it’s the deal I would have made, but I get the rationale and see the positives. The Browns are as excited as the fanbase and I am not going to pick this moment to stop trusting our GM or quit rooting for the team that I have lived and died with for my whole life.

Go Browns!


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