The Giants are about to visit Odell Beckham Jr. in purgatory.
Two-and-a-half years after trading Beckham to the then-hapless Browns, in a move the receiver described as more “personal” than “business” because he was sent there to “die,” the Giants and Browns will hold joint practices in Cleveland later this week.
And general manager Dave Gettleman – who believes evaluating trades and draft classes requires a three-year wait — has no regrets about the return he received for Beckham in March 2019.
“I’m happy,” Gettleman said. “I like that group.”
The Giants received safety Jabrill Peppers and two draft picks that became defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines. Peppers is a co-captain with two interceptions and four forced fumbles since the trade. Lawrence has 6.5 sacks and made it possible for the Giants to let go of Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency. Ximines has 4.5 sacks but is coming off a season-ending shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, Beckham has never returned to the Hall of Fame-caliber pace he was on before his broken ankle in 2017 and $95 million contract extension from the Giants in 2018. He has averaged 58.9 receiving yards per game with eight total touchdowns and in 23 games since the trade. He’s also coming off a season-ending torn ACL that kept him out of the Browns’ visit to MetLife Stadium and their long-awaited return to the playoffs last season.
“I think it’s a trade that will work out well for both sides,” Giants co-owner John Mara said. “Obviously the players we’ve added have been good contributors for us. I expect Odell to have a great season, and I still have a great relationship with him.”
Beckham hasn’t participated in team drills during training camp, so it is unlikely he will be matched up against the Giants in 11-on-11. There surely will be reunions with friends Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard, but will he cold shoulder the front office?
Beckham ripped the Giants — aimed at Gettleman and then-coach Pat Shurmur – on loop in the months after the trade but has been quiet on the topic ever since his latest injury. He has not addressed reporters since camp opened.
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