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The Student Prints

The Student Prints

Browns’ Beckham Blockbuster Sign of Long-Awaited New M.O. in Cleveland


John Dorsey, the wily general manager of the Cleveland Browns, has done it again.

On March 13, the Browns stunned the football and sporting world by dealing for Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants superstar and crossover sensation who is known for his spectacular play as much as his idiosyncratic hairstyle and temperament.

To get Beckham, Dorsey flipped the Browns’ first- and third-round picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, and also shipped young safety Jabrill Peppers to New York.

What does this deal mean for the parties involved? Let’s take a dive into the biggest movement of a superstar in years.

For the Browns. What was already shaping up to be one of the best skill-position groups in football just welcomed a Top 5 receiver in the game, and now Cleveland will be able to squeeze opponents to death offensively from multiple angles. Baker Mayfield is one of the best young quarterbacks in the game and Nick Chubb among the finest power running backs. Duke Johnson remains a versatile threat out of the backfield, and the Browns’ receiving corps is now ridiculously stacked, with Beckham joining slot threat Jarvis Landry and young stars Antonio Callaway and David Njoku. Few offenses will be as potent as Cleveland’s in 2019.

For the Giants. New York has waved a de facto white flag in doing this deal, signalling that the Giants will engage in a long-awaited teardown while in April drafting a replacement for Eli Manning. Candidates to be this replacement include Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, and Daniel Jones of Duke. Next season, the Giants will lean heavily on Saquon Barkley, the stud running back they drafted No. 2 overall last year. Whether this is a viable long-term strategy for general manager Dave Gettleman remains to be seen. In the meantime, the Giants can make use of their newfound draft capital and slot Peppers into the departed Landon Collins’ spot on defense.

For Beckham Jr. One of the NFL’s most visible and marketable personalities has indeed departed the media capital of the world, but now he will play in the Forest City, where the Browns loom larger than life over Cleveland’s civic self-image. He gets a chance to reunite with Landry, a college teammate who has been a close friend to OBJ since high school. Additionally, Adam Henry, the Browns’ wide receivers coach, was LSU’s wide receivers coach in 2012 and 2013, when both Beckham and Landry played for the Tigers. It’s a chance for Beckham Jr, who morphed into a bit of a malcontent in his last year in the Big Apple, to start fresh with new scenery.

For the NFL at large. It’s time the rest of the NFL take the Browns seriously. Since the acquisition of Beckham, the Browns’ odds of reaching the Super Bowl have cratered, and by some measures they only trail the Patriots and Chiefs in the AFC. Realistically, Cleveland has the ability to win at least 10 games next year, begging two questions: How will the Browns deal with expectations, and how will the rest of the NFL deal with the Browns? As for the Giants, they step back from the NFC East picture, leaving the Cowboys and Eagles to battle for the crown in that division.

For Browns fans. For two decades since the reincarnation of the Browns in 1999, Cleveland fans have been waiting for even something resembling a competent team. Now, they’re favorites to bring Cleveland a division title for the first time since 1989. Browns fans fell in love with the confident, emotional Mayfield his rookie year, and now he, Chubb, defensive end Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward form a homegrown nucleus poised to combined with Beckham and Landry to terrorize the NFL for years to come.

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