New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has said the Cleveland Browns made an offer he “couldn’t refuse” in exchange for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but was it really?
Late last week, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said they were in aggressive pursuit of Beckham, but didn’t pull the trigger because the Giants wanted two first-round picks — something they had been asking for since 2018 — including the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“We were definitely in it,” York said via NBC Sports. “We were aggressive. But I think (the Giants) wanted different things than we had to offer. I think it would have been very hard for us to just give up a first-round pick and not get a ton in return, other than just the player, knowing that the second pick in the draft is a very, very valuable pick.”
On Friday, 49ers general manager John Lynch confirmed the asking price, telling reporters that the No. 2 pick was simply too valuable for the team to part with.
Although the 49ers are stating publicly they wouldn’t part with the No. 2 pick, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports the two sides would have agreed to a first-round pick swap, but talks broke down over the remainder of the compensation.
Ultimately, a deal could not be struck between the Giants and 49ers, instead paving the way for the Browns to swoop in late and acquire Beckham in exchange for a first-round pick, third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers.
In the aftermath of that trade, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman maintains that the inclusion of Peppers is like getting a first-round pick.
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The NFL Network cameras caught up with rookie Browns coach Freddie Kitchens at the coach’s breakfast during the NFL owners meetings in Arizona on Tuesday. The coach is a popular man these days with the buzz surrounding his Browns and the shiny new toys he’s been given to work with by GM John Dorsey.
Speaking of Odell Beckham Jr., Kitchens noted “he’s been a great player for a long time but has not been on very good teams. Just because you’re a great player doesn’t mean your team is going to be great.”
Kitchens was echoing the cautionary words of Ravens cohort John Harbaugh, who called the Browns the most talented team in the AFC North.
The Browns coach elaborated more on the difference between having talent and being a great team and why he believes Beckham will help Cleveland become an elite team with his talent.
“Let me tell you something: there’s a lot of people with talent that doesn’t succeed as a team. The NFL is full of talented players thrown together as a team an expected to win. It doesn’t happen like that.”
Kitchens, wearing a Brownie the Elf hat with his collared shirt and sport jacket, continued,
“The difference between being good and elite is the passion that separates those two. We are going to play with passion, we’re going to practice with passion, we’re going to meet with passion. I think we’ve surrounded ourselves with a bunch of passionate people. I don’t mind passion (speaking of Beckham’s spirited history) at all. Because that puts you in an elite category.”
Kitchens does not seem concerned with some of the media speculation that Beckham is difficult to work with or a problem in the locker room.
@PaulBrown_UK I challenge you to my field goal Challenge and anyone else that wants to participate . 35yrd, 45 yard, 55yrd or @65yardfail!! You have a few weeks to practice and then when I’m down in london for the draft event I will kick your ass!! Are you game? @NFLUK @NFl