A few days ago, the Browns were rumored to be on the verge of a blockbuster trade for Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. On Monday, it was the 49ers. Or maybe the Patriots.
By now it should be clear that the Beckham trade rumors aren't going to stop any time soon, and the Giants are not going to publicly put them to rest. But the truth remains the same, according to multiple Giants sources:
The Giants are not shopping their superstar wide receiver. But if a team calls about him, they will listen.
And if they aren't absolutely bowled over with an offer, they are likely to laugh and hang up.
That has been their position for weeks, and it remained so on Monday, just two days before NFL free agency is set to begin. "It's the same as it was last week," said one team source, who added that the Giants still expect Beckham will be on their roster in 2019.
In other words, as Giants GM Dave Gettleman has said multiple times now: "We didn't sign Odell to trade him, OK?"
But … and with Beckham, there is always a but … there was a report on Monday from The Athletic-Boston that stated "The Giants are still involved in trade discussions" about Beckham, who is definitely "on the market." There was another rumor spreading on social media that the 49ers were discussing a deal, too.
Some of that is because Gettleman wouldn't squash the speculation when he met with the media at the scouting combine two weeks ago. When told that his definitive statement on a Beckham trade didn't sound definitive, that it sounded like he was saying they had no intention of trading Beckham when they signed him last August, Gettleman said. "That's good ears. You heard me."
And ever since then, the rumor mill has been spinning around.
The 49ers, actually, were one of the teams that called about Beckham last March when word got out that the Giants were willing to listen to offers. Reportedly the Patriots called back then too, though a team source refuted a report that the Pats got close to a deal. The Raiders also were interested in Beckham, according to a league source, before they managed to trade a third- and fifth-round pick for disgruntled Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.
It's unclear, though, if either the Patriots, 49ers, or anyone has enough to really make the Giants an offer they can't refuse. The price last spring was "a first-round pick, plus," according to a source. ESPN reported the Giants wanted two first-round picks. The exact price might depend on where those picks are. For example, the 49ers have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. If they were willing to send the Giants that and something else, they might have the beginnings of an acceptable package.
But again, it would take a lot. The Giants value Beckham, which is why they signed him to a five-year, $90 million contract last summer. And trading him would be costly, since he'd still count for $16 million in "dead money" against their salary cap. They would also be alarmingly thin at wide receiver if they shipped Beckham out.
He's high-maintenance, though, which is why they are willing to listen. Beckham may have caught 77 passes for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in just 12 games last season, but he also created several unwanted headlines with his refusal to publicly support quarterback Eli Manning. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur worked hard to forge a relationship with Beckham, but even he found him hard to control at times, according to a team source.
He wasn't frustrated enough with Beckham to want him traded, though -- especially not since the Giants really do think they can make a run at the playoffs this season. Their plan is to make that run with Beckham. But if another team wants to call and offer the Giants a fortune for him, at the very least they won't hang up.