New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said Monday that he traded star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. because the Cleveland Browns made an offer that was impossible to pass up.
“This was purely a football decision,” Gettleman told reporters in his first public comments since trading the three-time Pro Bowler Beckham for two draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers. “Odell was a tremendous talent making him a valuable asset … With football being the ultimate team sport, we turned that fact into three assets.”
The trade last Wednesday ended months of speculation that Beckham was on his way out of New York. After signing Beckham to a five-year, $95 million contract in 2018, the Giants saw their season spiral downward.
“We didn’t sign him to trade him, but things changed,” Gettleman said. “Frankly, what changed, is another team made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”
The Browns sent the Giants a first-round pick and a third-round pick along with Peppers.
Gettleman said he didn’t seek the Browns as trade partners. He conceded he called the Buffalo Bills after their failed attempt to acquire another disgruntled star wideout, Antonio Brown, failed, however.
“I completely understand why people would debate the merits of this deal. This trade really won’t be able to be fully evaluated until we get further down the road. We did not enter this decision to trade Odell lightly,” Gettleman added.
Gettleman wasn’t eager to share his plan for the team, though.
“Very honestly, it’s not my responsibility to tell you guys what I’m doing,” he told reporters. “That’s not my job. That’s not my responsibility. Trust me, we’ve got a plan. You’ve got to be patient. Everyone wants the answers now. Over time, you’ll see it.”
Part of that plan that concerns some fans and critics includes Gettleman’s apparent continued trust in longtime starting quarterback Eli Manning, who has won two Super Bowls with New York but whose performance has dipped over the past few seasons (8-23 record as starter since 2017).
Manning, 38, recently received a $5 million bonus amid an upcoming draft with the Giants holding two first-round picks, including the No. 6 overall selection. But Gettleman defended his veteran quarterback to reporters on Monday.
“This narrative that Eli is overpaid and can’t play is a crock,” Gettleman said, per NJ.com. “At the end of the day, you have to say, ‘Gettleman is out of his mind’ or ‘he knows what he is talking about when he evaluates players.’ That’s really where it’s at. I’m OK if you disagree with me.”
–Field Level Media