The deal is done. Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon are now officially former New York Giants. Both teams have now issued releases confirming the trade.
For NFL paperwork purposes, the Beckham and Vernon trades go down as one deal. The Giants give up the two star players. In return, they get guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers, Cleveland’s first round pick (17th) and a third-round pick (95th overall). The previous swap of fourth- and fifth-round picks (Nos. 132 and 155) is cancelled, so the Giants keep the 132nd overall pick, a fourth-rounder.
The deal is contingent on the players passing physicals with their new teams, which are expected to be completed no later than Monday.
“With the first-round draft choice, that gives us six and 17,” said Gettleman. “As we continue to build this team, you need draft pick capital. This trade enabled us to do that.”
Barring another trade, the Giants will select two players in the first round for the first time since 1984 when they took linebacker Carl Banks and offensive lineman William Roberts.
Here is what Gettleman said about trading Beckham:
“The New York Football Giants would like to thank Odell Beckham, Jr. for his contributions. We truly wish him well in Cleveland, and we want to wish OV the best and nothing but success for both of them.”
Zeitler, a 29-year-old seven-year veteran, will become the Giants’ right guard.
“We’re very excited we were able to get a quality NFL guard in Kevin Zeitler,” said Gettleman. “We’ve already had him in here, and he passed his physical. That really adds another piece to the offensive line repair that we have going. Now, we have most of the line under control for the next couple years. It’s a great opportunity for us to build stability on our offensive line. We’re excited about that.”
Guard Kevin Zeitler in action pic.twitter.com/tRfchOYq6b— New York Giants (@Giants) March 13, 2019
Peppers, a third-year player, was a first-round pick by Cleveland in 2017.
“We’re very excited to have Jabrill,” said Gettleman. “A lot of people remember him from his days at Paramus Catholic. He’s coming back home. I spoke to him last night and he’s excited and thankful and couldn’t wait to get here. Jabrill is a quality safety in this league and he is a legitimate linchpin on the back end of your defense. The way this game is being played, your safeties are critical in pass defense.”
These Jabrill Peppers highlights pic.twitter.com/GpXiqKhPyd— New York Giants (@Giants) March 13, 2019
Gettleman, criticized for not seeming to have a plan, disagreed with that notion.
“You can win while you build a roster,” said Gettleman. “We do have a plan, and this is a part of it.”
The Browns posted a celebratory story on their official website.
Cleveland GM John Dorsey on Beckham:
“He’s probably if not the one, one or two best receivers in the National Football League,” Dorsey said. “Very rarely do you get a chance to acquire a player of this magnitude. He’s at a relatively young age. He’s got a lot of football left in him. Great hands, great work ethic, committed, competitive, he really wants to be great. And that’s all you can ask for.”
Yes, the folks in Cleveland are a tad excited about their new wide receiver.
.@obj is a Cleveland Brown ✊ pic.twitter.com/z1iSXhBtnV— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 13, 2019
Beckham on his “fresh start” in Cleveland:
“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to be part of this organization and the direction they are headed,” Beckham said. “I’ve already witnessed the energy fans bring in that city having been to some playoff games at The Q. Browns fans deserve a winning football team. This is a fresh start for me and it’s going to be great to join Baker (Mayfield) and Jarvis on this team. I will always appreciate the opportunity the Giants granted me and I’m thankful to them along with the fans and people in that city for supporting me.
“The Browns are an organization that is moving forward and it’s exciting to be a part of something special that is in the process of being built. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I really feel like it’s time for the Browns to come together, start winning a lot games and I’m grateful to be a part of that going forward.”
Vernon on his surroundings:
“I’m excited to be a part of the Dawg Pound, be able to represent and help build something special in Cleveland,” Vernon said. “The front office is adding pieces to the puzzle. We are trying to win. I was not expecting (Beckham to come, too). Odell is a great teammate and person. We both have our own goals of what we would like to accomplish and there is no better place to do that than Cleveland.”