There’s still a lot to unpack after the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. For many it’s still absolutely strange to see the San Francisco 49ers miss out on him and the Cleveland Browns land the deal. ESPN’s Pat McManamon and Jordan Raanan ran a story Sunday going over the details of the trade and how the Browns managed to get OBJ. The TL;DR version is the 49ers were sending offers, and the Browns swooped in at the last second.
The root of all of this is a 37-year friendship between Browns general manager John Dorsey and New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman.
From there is a lot of what we already know and it ultimately the 49ers holding the No. 2 pick was detrimental to the entire deal. The 49ers wanted Beckham. The Giants wanted the No. 2 pick. There was no middle ground. The 49ers were open to moving to No. 6 in a swap, but the Giants weren’t interested. So more offers came, DeForest Buckner being one of the more interesting ones that the 49ers shot down.
That all lead to this interesting nugget:
Neither the 49ers nor the Bills offered their first-round picks. “Teams were trying to see if they could steal him,” was the impression a Giants source had.
Whether the 49ers were stealing Beckham or the Giants were being stubborn is up to the eye of the beholder. The 49ers were indicating that they were taking their time, which allowed the Browns time to jump into the middle of things. The original desire from the Giants was two first rounders, but they were talked down by getting safety Jabrill Peppers—and it’s noted the Browns may not have been prepared for such a price. Eventually, the deal was made.
The 49ers found about it the same way everyone else did. The Giants didn’t bother calling them to tell them they made a deal. While the Browns were the winners, they may not have offered the best deal:
It’s strongly believed the 49ers would have been willing to offer more for a wide receiver of Beckham’s stature, according to a league source.
All of this is reminiscent of a very similar trade during the 2017 season. The trade of Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots to the 49ers. If you recall, Kyle Shanahan earned the respect of Bill Belichick when the two went over how Shanahan lost the Super Bowl while offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons. The Cleveland Browns were rumored to be trying to get Garoppolo, but the Patriots took a second rounder for Garoppolo partly as a favor for Garoppolo and as a favor for Lynch. Some teams are more likely to be more subjective to deals with other teams.
However, while the 49ers may have been willing to give more and weren’t budging on the No. 2 pick, having them find out about the deal when the rest of the world did isn’t the best look on the Giants. Does it matter in the scheme of things? Perhaps not. The Giants got their trade and the Browns got OBJ.
Maybe the 49ers will remember this when a deal with either of them comes up in the future.