Beckham Jr. : A bigger move than Lebron or Cristiano?
The next biggest transfer in world sport transpired last week but without an eye out across the pond, you may have missed it. Odell Beckham Junior has been traded, seeing him move from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns. Bryce Donaldson has more.
Recently, two major moves have shaken-up the sporting world. Footballing icon Ronaldo exited the Spanish capital in favour of northern Italy and basketball superstar LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Lakers in the city of angels.
However, OBJ’s move could upstage both as the most influential yet.
OBJ who was a first-round pick for the Giants in 2014, has been traded for a first and third-round pick in this year’s draft. They also pick up 23-year old safety, Jabrill Peppers in the deal, who was himself a first round pick for the Browns two years ago.
What does this mean for the Giants?
Though this may seem a fair trade to the untrained eye, American football fans have been left stunned by this decision.
Different to football in the UK, players get little, if any say as to what team they will play for. Stars such as Antonio Brown have been able to force through trades by refusing to play or train but OBJ seemed to be on good terms with the board and was a favourite amongst fans and team-mates alike. Many Giant’s fans are frustrated to have lost one of the best-known and exciting players in the game and now don’t know what direction the team is being taken in.
The Giants haven’t even made the playoffs in the past eight seasons and last year went 5-11.
The move came as a shock as General Manager, David Gettleman said earlier this year: “We didn’t sign him [OBJ] to trade him.”
At 26 years old, OBJ is in the prime of his career and was a marketing dream for the franchise, now leaving veteran quarterback, Eli Manning as their star player.
Though Peppers is a great player. He doesn’t play in the same position so is not a straight replacement. This will place even more pressure on the young shoulders of New-York native, Saquon Barkley to rack up the points for the Giants. Pepper’s also does not have the same talent to turn a game on its head or spark a comeback as OBJ could.
So … what does this mean for the Browns?
In short, Cleveland look very dangerous ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Head Coach, Freddie Kitchens came in mid-way through last season and is building a squad in Ohio that I will be extremely shocked if they don’t challenge for a Superbowl spot. The Browns finished last season 7-8-1 due to a good late season form but couldn’t make the playoffs.
OBJ is a three-time Pro-Bowler and will provide experience in attack. His link up with Baker Mayfield will likely prove difficult for any defence to stop. Mayfield had a rough start in his debut season last year but impressed towards the back-end, throwing 27 touchdowns.
Browns have also picked up ex-Chiefs player Kareem Hunt, who will miss the first eight games of the season due to an off-field incident. If he picks up where he left off, before being let go by Kansas last season, he too could add to an attacking flair to the squad.
The season is not over before it has even begun for the Giants though. They will be able to pick up a number of impressive individuals from the draft next month. As always, each signing is a risk as even some of the best struggle to make the leap from College football to the professional scene but, if they pick up a prodigy to work under and learn from Manning as well as a fill out a few more key positions things could yet turn around for the Big Blue.