Since the end of the 2018 season, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman kept insisting that the team didn’t sign receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last year to trade him away.
But when opportunity came knocking in the Giants door and Gettleman received an offer that he thought was to good to refuse, well, things changed in a hurry.
“Some have questioned why we signed Odell and then traded him,’’ Gettleman said during a 20-minute conference call with the Giants beat writers.
“We didn’t sign him to trade him but obviously things changed. Frankly, what changed is another team made an offer we couldn’t refuse. As it turned out, the fact he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and allowed us to get legitimate value.’’
That value included the Browns’ first-round pick in this year’s draft (No. 17 overall), a third-round pick (No. 95 overall) and safety Jabrill Peppers, the Browns’ first-round pick in the 2017 draft.
“My barometer or litmus test is the franchise tag,” Gettleman said. “If we had not signed Odell beck in August and the season played out and we put the franchise tag on him, if another team signed him and we didn’t match the offer, we would have gotten two first-round picks. That was my litmus test.”
With Cleveland willing to part with two first rounders and a third-round pick for good measure, the decision became a no-brainer for Gettleman.
Gettleman, who clarified that the Browns were the ones who reached out to him about acquiring Beckham, said that the decision to move on from the receiver was all about doing what’s best for the New York Giants and that it was strictly a business decision.
“There’s no intrigue, there’s no he-said, she-said--none of that stuff. Odell is a tremendous talent, which made him a valuable asset. With football being the ultimate team game, we turned that fact into three valuable assets.”
One of those assets, Peppers, was a player that Gettleman said he insisted be included in the trade when he first began discussing the possibility of moving Beckham last week with Browns general manager John Dorsey.
“We think Jabrill Peppers is going to be a very good safety in this league," Gettleman said. “We have him under contract for several more years, which is great value. We got another first-rounder this year. To get that type of value in this type of draft and get a third-round pick to complete our April dance card was just too much for us to pass up.”
Still, some will look at the decision to move on from Beckham as the Giants having quit on talent, something Gettleman said you never do as a general manager.
Gettleman disagreed that he quit on Beckham.
“Quitting on talent is when you cut a player or get marginal value in return. And we all know this did not happen here.’’