The Giants insist that they aren't looking to trade Odell Beckham Jr., but just in case you're interested, the conversation for such a hypothetical deal starts with two first-round picks as compensation, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Giants have asked for at least two first-round picks in return for Odell Beckham Jr., a league source tells ESPN, even though team insists it is not shopping him.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2018
Doesn’t mean they get it, or close to it, or even trade OBJ. But they have asked for at least two first-round picks.
"I mean we're certainly not shopping [Beckham], if that's what you're asking," Giants owner John Mara said Sunday. "But when you're coming off a season where you're 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn't say anyone's untouchable."
And it's those last five words that have given this story life, even if it seems highly unlikely that the Giants would move on from Beckham. At issue, as always, is money. Beckham reportedly won't step on the field without a new contract. He's set to make $8.5 million on his fifth-year option, which sounds like a lot until you realize that ranks 22nd among all NFL wideouts in terms of salary-cap hits and is precisely half of what the league's highest-paid receiver, Antonio Brown, pulls down, on average.
Beckham missed much of last season with an injury but he's one of the league's most exciting players when he's healthy. That said, he's not worth at least two first-round picks. Remember, the Patriots were reportedly looking for two first-rounders for Jimmy Garoppolo last offseason and in October they shipped him to the 49ers for a second-round pick.
We've previously written about Rams are top the list) but New York's best course of action would include ... inaction:should the Giants trade him (spoiler: the
- Signing Beckham to a long-term deal.
- Drafting a franchise quarterback with the No. 2 pick.
- Moving on from Eli Manning after the 2018 season.
With Manning off the books and with Sam Darnold/Josh Rosen/Josh Allen set to assume the starting job, the Giants find themselves in the same enviable position the Rams and Eagles currently enjoy.
Part of the reason the Rams currently have so much cap space to add playmakers like Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters: quarterback Jared Goff is midway through his rookie deal. This also explains why the team is stacking its roster -- after going 11-5 in coach Sean McVay's first season, they're ready for a Super Bowl run now; there is no waiting for Goff to grow into his role because he proved last season that he's a capable quarterback. And before the Rams have to sign him to an extension that will almost certainly cost $30 million a year, they're replicating what the Seahawks did early in Russell Wilson's tenure and what the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles are doing now.
This strategy makes the most sense for New York, has the lowest risk and highest upside -- even if another team was willing to pay the two-first-round price tag for Beckham.