The Odell Beckham trade rumors were just that -- rumors. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that the Cleveland Browns haven't had any discussions on trading Beckham the entire offseason, with a team source telling Schefter "that's the truth."
Cleveland quickly put out the fire on Beckham trade rumors earlier this week. Chief Strategic Officer Paul DePodesta made clear the Browns weren't trading Beckham when he shot down the rumor suggesting the Browns were attempting to trade Beckham to the Minnesota Vikings.
"It was completely false," DePodesta said on a conference call with reporters, via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. "It's frustrating obviously. It's pretty clear what we're trying to build.....the idea we'd take away from that core doesn't make sense & is not something we're exploring."
DePodesta's comments come from a report that the Browns were looking to trade Beckham to the Vikings for a second and fifth-round pick. If Beckham were to be traded, it would be the second time the Pro Bowl wide receiver has been dealt in the last two seasons. The New York Giants sent Beckham to the Browns in 2019 for a first-round pick, a third-round pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers in March 2019. However, the complete transaction was reported official to the NFL to include a swap of offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (from the Browns) for Olivier Vernon (from the Giants).
DePodesta's comments should be taken with a grain of salt until after the draft. Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in February the team was not trying to move Stefon Diggs, weeks before he was traded to the Buffalo Bills.
"He's not only a major part of our offense and a major part of our organization winning games, but he also does a lot of things for this organization off the field," Spielman said at the NFL scouting combine. "There's no reason -- the rumors or whatever you're talking about -- to anticipate that Stefon Diggs is not going to be a Minnesota Viking."
If the Browns were to trade Beckham, the organization wouldn't receive nearly the compensation they gave up to acquire him last year. Another reason why the franchise wouldn't be inclined to trade him, along with Beckham still being just 27 years old and entering the prime of his career.
Beckham had just 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in 2019 (the lowest numbers he's posted when playing a full 16-game season), but his play on the field was just the beginning of his issues. Beckham played through the 2019 season with a hip and groin injury and he underwent core muscle surgery after the season ended. He also had several uniform violations and was seen yelling at former head coach Freddie Kitchens during the Browns Week 16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
While Beckham's first season in Cleveland didn't go as expected, the Browns want to "run it back" with the talented wide receiver. Unless the Browns get an offer they can't refuse, Beckham will get a second chance in Cleveland.