Antonio Brown Watch is taking a break for now and in its place we officially have Odell Beckham Jr. Watch. Monday, Pro Football Talk reported that a “sense persists” the San Francisco 49ers will pursue the New York Giants wide receiver. This follows Jay Glazer’s prediction that OBJ would be traded in 2019.
Which means it’s time to play armchair GM again. What would you give up for the OBJ if you were the 49ers?
One thing is certain, OBJ is not going to command as cheap of a deal as Antonio Brown did. For one, Beckham is 26 years old and entering his prime. For another, he signed a five-year contract in 2018 (meaning it’d expire in 2023). Brown would have started 2019 at 31, and had one year left on his deal.
Speaking of his deal, Beckham makes $16.75 million in 2018 and then hovers around $14 million for the final three years. That’s expensive, but very doable because of all the guaranteed money. You can view his contract at Over the Cap. If the Giants trade Beckham, they would take a dead money hit in the realm of $16 million. So not only do the Giants have Beckham signed, extended, and locked up, but they are going to take a hit on their books trading him after one year—that will make OBJ’s price go up.
Now there’s Beckham’s play. Prior to Pat Shurmur’s arrival in 2018, for all intents and purposes, the Giants were running a west coast offense under Ben McAdoo. A very bad west coast offense, but still a west coast offense and one that Beckham thrived in and made a name for himself. It was also a very difficult offense to learn.
Why is the offense important? There’s an offense on the other end of the country that’s hard to learn and is rooted in west coast concepts. A question about Brown was if he’d work in a west coast system. This offense may be familiar to Beckham and would be less of an issue. And his price goes up because he’s proven that he can thrive in difficult offensive systems.
As far as character, Beckham has had his moments, but if you put him into the realm of Brown is up to you. He’s said some rather strange things in interviews and he’s done some questionable acts before big games. He also is responsible for the Odell Beckham Rule, the rule where two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties force you out of a game. Before Beckham went wild with then-Carolina Panthers defensive back Josh Norman racking unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
So now the question: What would I give up? As we know, I’m a bit more stingy when I play armchair GM. The Pro Foootball Talk article breaking this news even said the 49ers 2018 first round pick is too high. I said the 49ers should give up a third for Brown. If further negotiations were needed I suggested swapping spots in the second round and giving up a later round pick (a sixth). As far as Beckham is concerned, he’s going to cost more. A lot more. Regardless, I’m still staying stingy. My compensation is the 49ers’ second round pick, a 49ers’ sixth round pick and a swap of first round picks. The Giants will need a quarterback and getting into No. 2 gets them their quarterback (or defensive end) of the future and a pick that can be used on someone with a cheaper contract to replace Beckham. The 49ers get Beckham, a shot at a decent pass rusher in the top-10, and sit out of the second round (where some mocks have them taking a wide receiver anyways). A sixth round pick is just fluff to sweeten the deal, I’d first offer the second and the swap of firsts and see if the Giants bite.
Like I said with Brown, the 49ers aren’t just giving up a first round pick, but the No. 2 pick in the draft. That’s expensive in its own right. The Dallas Cowboys also gave up a first for Amari Cooper, but Cooper is young, has another year on his rookie deal, and that pick is in the back-end of the first round at this point. Whether that’s better than being locked in on the contract OBJ has is up to you.
So that’s my compensation. A 49ers’ second, sixth, and a swap of first round picks.
Ok, that’s my crazy deal. What would you give up for Odell Beckham Jr?