NFL rumors: How Cleveland Browns beat out San Francisco 49ers for ex-Giants WR Odell Beckham

 nj.com  03/17/2019 14:08:00   Matt Lombardo | mlombardo@njadvancemedia.com

The Giants ultimately traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns Tuesday, but not before shopping the dynamic wide receiver across the league.

Beckham had been available dating back to last spring’s NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando when the Los Angeles Rams discussed a potential deal with Giants general manager Dave Gettleman but the Browns and general manager John Dorsey persistently pursued Beckham ever since.

In an expansive Cleveland.com report on how Tuesday’s trade came together, Mary Kay Cabot reveals just how close Beckham came to becoming a San Francisco 49er instead of quarterback Baker Mayfield’s newest weapon:

On Monday, the day legal tampering began, Dorsey called Gettleman and asked if he'd be willing to trade Beckham. The answer was yes, and negotiations that day were fast and furious.

Dorsey had before him five different trade scenarios that the Browns had been working on since December, thanks to all their intel, and the report and rumors.

All five scenarios included the Browns’ No. 17 overall pick, and a variety of combinations. The names of Duke Johnson and Ogbah never came up, a source said. Meanwhile, the 49ers were also interested, according to Glazer, but the Giants wanted the No. 2 overall pick and the 49ers weren’t budging.

Presumably, the Giants had sights set on a bluechip prospect such as Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins or edge rusher Nick Bosa with the second-overall choice.

Likewise, the trade seemed contingent on the Browns including Jabrill Peppers.

The day Dorsey called to ask for Beckham, Gettleman was in the midst of taking a ton of heat for letting safety Landon Collins walk in free agency, and needed a save. Browns' first-round safety Jabrill Peppers was the answer.

Gettleman was adamant about acquiring Peppers in the deal to make up for the loss of the his three-time Pro Bowl safety, who agreed to a six-year, $84 million deal with the Redskins.

The Browns didn't want to let Peppers go. They like his attitude, his work ethic and his infectious personality.

But they certainly weren’t going to let him stand in the way of acquiring Beckham, and the Giants felt he might fare better in their 3-4 defense.

Sunday’s report also douses cold water on the notion that the Giants ever had any realistic chance of coming way with two first-round picks for Beckham.

Instead, the Giants landed the No. 17 pick and a third-round choice, which is plenty of ammunition to move up for Haskins or to have the flexibility to put together a trade package for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. If that is part of Gettleman’s offseason plan.

Matt Lombardo may be reached at MLombardo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattLombardoNFL

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