With the NFL Draft just over a week away, trade rumors are already swirling. The Cleveland Browns are reportedly shopping Odell Beckham Jr. and could be close to a deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
Could the Vikings, who just dealt Stefon Diggs to Buffalo, use a talent like Beckham? Sure, any team could. But could Kirk Cousins – or Mike Zimmer – keep Beckham under control? That is another question altogether.
“If you’re Minnesota, yes, his talent is tantalizing, but who’s going to keep him under control?” Tiki Barber asked on Tiki & Tierney. “It’s a crappy question to have to ask, but with a guy like Odell, you have to ask it. Who’s doing that if you’re the Minnesota Vikings? If I’m them, knowing that Kirk Cousins is likely not that guy, then I’m probably looking at the draft. I can get a guy in the second round – hell, I can get a guy in the third round. There’s some big, athletic, gonna-fly-under-the-radar stars at wide receiver in this draft. If I’m the Vikings, I would go that route.”
But what about the Browns? Should they keep Beckham for another season and see what happens?
“If I’m the Cleveland Browns, you’ve got to weigh this dilemma,” Barber said. “Is anyone in this draft good enough to replace Odell Beckham Jr.? If the answer is yes, then you push a trade. If the answer is Odell still has [it], especially when he’s healthy, then you don’t.”
Beckham, 27, had perhaps the worst season of his career last year. He caught 74 balls for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games. By comparison, he caught 77 balls for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in his final year with the Giants in 2018. Those numbers are almost identical.
The problem? Beckham played in just 12 games in 2018.
Brandon Tierney believes the Browns should try to trade OBJ – but that the Vikings should avoid him like the plague.
“It’s not like the Browns are devoid of any sort of offensive firepower,” he said. “You can make the case they probably have too much at this point, which complicates things. When Odell is not always getting the football, there’s an element of chirping, there’s an uncomfortablility, he wants the ball – we understand that, and I respect he wants the ball. He wants the ball in his hands to make plays and get in the end zone and help his team.
“[But] my answer is no,” Tierney continued. “Yes, the Browns should try to get rid of him. No, the Vikings should not try to acquire him. Draft somebody. Don’t put Cousins in that spot. You just further reinforced your commitment to Kirk by extending him on the back end [of his contract]. Forget about Beckham. You don’t need that kind of player to win a championship – and there’s 25 years of evidence to back up that statement.”