It started with what seemed like smoke, but now there is real fire to the Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors. After the New York Daily News’s Pat Leonard reported that the Giants were fielding offers for Beckham on Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that New York is looking for two first-round picks for the star wideout. But is he worth it? And will they really trade him?
Let’s say they will. What’s the best offer you can come up with for one of the best young receivers in the league? Our staff threw out their offers:
Los Angeles Chargers
Giants receive: No. 17 pick, no. 84 pick
Chargers receive: Odell Beckham Jr.
Danny Kelly: If the Chargers want to maximize the last few years of Philip Rivers’s career and truly contend for a Super Bowl, a trade for Beckham (along with a long-term extension) could be just the thing to put them over the top. With a top-tier secondary group and a fearsome pass-rush duo in Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, that squad’s already got what looks like a championship-caliber nucleus forming on defense. They should have an effective ground game with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, and they’ve got one of the league’s ascending talents at tight end in Hunter Henry. Instead of waiting around for last year’s top pick Mike Williams to emerge, the Chargers could throw Beckham out there opposite Keenan Allen and let Rivers tear defenses up.
Giants receive: No. 26 pick, 2019 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick, guard Ben Garland
Falcons receive: Beckham, 2019 third-round pick
Danny Heifetz: I’m a Giants fan, and this week has been exhausting. Trading Beckham would be nuts, both for the Giants’ short- and long-term futures, and it would also be heartbreaking because I love Odell. Unfortunately, sometimes love means letting someone go. I’ve gone through denial, am still working through the anger, but I’m slowly preparing myself for bargaining.
If the Giants have to trade Odell, I want him to flourish. Since he was drafted, the most dumbfounding and joyous part of watching him is how he lights defenses on fire even though the Giants have had virtually no other offensive threats since he joined the team. He deserves to play on a team where he can’t be constantly spotlighted by an opposing defense, but instead can show how magical he is when someone has to try guarding him one-on-one. The best place for that is Atlanta, which has the cap space next season to give him a new contract. Julio Jones and Beckham would probably qualify as the best receiver combo in NFL history, the Falcons offense could approach 40 points per game, and he can chill with Migos and continue to be a part of the Culture.
Los Angeles Rams
Giants receive: No. 23 pick, no. 111 pick, 2019 third-round pick
Rams receive: Beckham
Riley McAtee: By getting Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Ndamukong Suh this offseason, the Rams are putting all their chips on the table. Why not crank that strategy up to 11 and add a receiver so talented he practically breaks the physics of football?
Los Angeles may not be able to afford all these stars (plus Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley, and Jared Goff), but they’ll be able to maximize their Super Bowl window for at least 2018. And the team will be able to keep more of these players than you’d think: They’re projected to have the second-most cap space in the NFL in 2019, with roughly $90 million. Adding Beckham would be a win-now move for sure, but it wouldn’t sacrifice as much long-term potential as it would for most of the other squads in the league.
San Francisco 49ers
Giants receive: No. 9 pick, no. 74 pick
49ers receive: Beckham
Megan Schuster: If you thought the Eli-Odell commercial was great, just imagine the magic that OBJ and Jimmy Garoppolo could create together — both in ads and on the field. Kyle Shanahan could design incredibly creative schemes for these two, and Odell would never lack for targets on a team that didn’t have a thousand-yard receiver last year. Beckham deserves to play on a fun team with an exciting quarterback in a system willing to embrace his strengths. We’ll all be winners if this happens — well, except for Rams, Seahawks, and Cardinals fans.
Giants receive: Dez Bryant, no. 19 pick, no. 116 pick
Cowboys receive: Beckham, no. 139 pick
Zach Schwartz: In 2017, I sat in an office editing NFL Pro Bowl Skills Showdown footage when my coworker Kyle, a Giants fan, pointed something out. Beckham seemed to thoroughly enjoy hanging out with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. My coworker dismissed it as nothing, to which I said, “I’m sure that the Cavs’ front office said the same thing watching LeBron James and Dwyane Wade get close at the Olympics.” Kyle looked disgusted.
Here we are a year later, and suddenly Beckham could be on the block. Jerry Jones loves a star, and the Cowboys have the picks to deal for him. Beckham is the only player in the NFL who transcends the sport. Go look at his Instagram follower count and compare it to that of any other player. Beckham is the only guy who is internationally loved. Where could Odell play, get paid, win and stay in the spotlight? Dallas.
The Cowboys have a star QB and star running back both on rookie deals, so paying a ton of money to a star receiver to help get the squad to a Super Bowl makes sense. The problem is that the Cowboys are currently doing this with Dez Bryant who is [extreme Jason Concepcion voice] waaaaasssssssshhhhhhheddddddd. The cap-space issues are for the most part solved if you send Bryant to the Giants along with those picks.
Imagine the coolest receiver getting to sport the league’s best uniform and play alongside two of the most exciting young skill position guys in the NFL.
Giants receive: Jadeveon Clowney, 2019 first-round pick
Texans receive: Beckham
Paolo Uggetti: Only Deshaun Watson made me do something last season that I wouldn’t have done on any other Sunday that didn’t involve a basketball game: Scramble to get in front of a TV. If it came to it, I’d check to see whether there was any other way I could witness what Watson was doing, online streams notwithstanding. Can you imagine adding the best receiver in football to that equation? Houston already has DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller flanking Watson, who has already achieved cult hero status since he tore his ACL before we could watch him long enough for the inevitable backlash and regression to occur. Adding Odell into the mix would prevent the chances of that regression from happening and would get us one step closer to Watson’s forthcoming reign over the NFL. Let’s do this.
Giants receive: No. 6 pick, no. 49 pick, 2019 fourth-round pick
Colts receive: Beckham
Shaker Samman: What action do you take when your franchise quarterback is so injured that people start speculating about whether he’ll ever play again? You do nothing. You sit and wait, and lose a lot — 12 times, to be exact. And then you send your no. 3 pick to a bumbling franchise like, oh, I don’t know, the Jets for their sixth pick and three second-rounders. Now you’re cooking. And when it comes out that your signal-caller is on the mend and might be back in time for Week 1, you go out and make a move.
Since Andrew Luck was drafted in 2012, only two of his receivers have ever totaled more than 1,000 yards. The first, Reggie Wayne, pulled down 106 catches for 1,355 yards in 2012. The second was T.Y. Hilton, who crossed 1,000 four times with Luck as his passer. Hilton is fast and quick, but he’s not the type of wide receiver who can take a game over. Enter Beckham.
With Odell, Luck gets a seminal talent, and someone who can change the state of the franchise overnight. With OBJ at his side, Hilton could be the best no. 2 receiver in the league. Rather than returning to a sorry Colts roster, Luck could come back with the latest player to carry the mantle of “Best Wideout in the World” in his arsenal. And in return, the Giants get to kickstart their rebuild with a handful of draft picks.