How the Packers Could Trade for Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.
The Giants are kind of wishy washy about whether or not they really want to trade their superstar young receiver. I think everybody's got to be a little bit skeptical about bringing him on as well, for good and bad reasons.
The good reasons I think are that he is just a wide receiver, and he's going to need a big contract extension. Beckham wants to be making around $20 million a year whether it's with the Giants or another team. He’s coming off a significant injury, too.
The bad reasons are that he is “a distraction,” that he’s “immature,” and “gets into trouble off the field.” First of all, if a player is a good enough football player, and Odell Beckham Jr. definitely is, you can put up with a few distractions.
Second, a lot of these distractions are not really distractions. When you talk about the “off the field stuff,” they come in a couple different varieties. There are legitimate off the field problems, and there are not-so-legitimate off the field problems.
Is Beckham a problem because of off the field distractions?
The controversial – I say that with heavy, heavy sarcasm – boat party that he and a few of his teammates had before their playoff game in Green Bay a couple years ago is a prime example of a not-so-legitimate off the field problem.
It was a distraction only because people wanted it to be a distraction. They weren't doing anything wrong. They were causing any trouble. They weren't hurting anybody. They were just a bunch of young rich dudes having some fun on a boat.
If you were 23 or 24 years old and you had literally tens of millions of dollars to spend, do you think you would spend your days at home sitting in your favorite high-backed chair reading a first edition of Dickens? Of course you wouldn’t. You'd be out there spending money in whatever semi-responsible way that you possibly could. I don't know if I would be on a boat. I've never been real big into boating. I'm sure I would find some stupid way to spend my money if I was in Odell Beckham Jr.’s position.
It's fun, and that's what young guys do. They have fun. Until someone comes up with an actual reason that we should be concerned with his off the field behavior, I will be inclined to just let it go.
The asking price by the Giants is steep, to no one's surprise
It gets a little bit more tricky when you talk about actually trading a receiver who is:
- Very, very good.
- Very, very young (relatively speaking).
- Prohibitively expensive for some teams.
Just how much would it take to pry him away? According to the New York Daily News, the Giants’ asking price for teams is starting at a first-round pick, plus a player or probably another pretty high second- or third-round pick. I think if you are the Giants and you've got a player of his caliber, it’s a fair asking price.
Let's put that in context a little bit. Though trades are becoming more common, trades of superstar-caliber players are not exactly common. We've got to dig into the history books a little bit to to come up with some comparable trades.
The best example is probably Randy Moss. He's the closest guy to Odell Beckham Jr. in terms of talent level and production that’s been traded recently among NFL wide receivers. Moss is obviously better, though it may be a little bit closer than some people would like to admit.
On March 2, 2005, the Vikings traded Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker Napoleon Harris, the seventh-overall pick and a seventh-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Moss was heading into his age 28 season when he was traded, while Beckham is just 25. Moss was pretty clear on the fact that he didn't want to be in Minnesota. Beckham has been more wishy washy on that – he just wants to get paid.
Why a trade for Beckham may make sense for the Packers
The Packers may be in a position to make a similar deal to the Randy Moss trade. While a recent SB Nation article didn’t bring up the comparison to the Moss deal, they did consider the Packers one of the teams with a shot to trade for Beckham:
“With the No. 14 selection, the Packers may be right in the sweet spot: a pick the team is willing to give up for a receiver and also one the Giants are willing to accept.
I think if the Packers are interested in trading for Odell Beckham Jr., it's probably going to take their first-round pick at least to get it done. We had a reader comment on our blog that suggested a trade of Randall Cobb, Clay Matthews and a fourth-round pick. I don't think the Giants even stay on the phone long enough to answer that question.
The Giants don't have a whole lot of incentive to move on from him. They can just keep him and have a really good player on their team and pair him with whoever they pick second overall. Maybe that's a quarterback, maybe it's not. They don't have to move on from him, and that's something that many forget when you start talking about trades. New York is not obligated to trade him, and until he’s given an indication that he's wants a new deal or else, the Giants can stand pat.
If the Packers do decide to trade for Odell Beckham Jr., it’s going to take a lot. It would likely be along these lines: