With online rumors re-heating trade rumors involving Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham and the 49ers, let’s hash out the reality of the speculation.
The Odell Beckham trade rumors won’t go away, at least on Twitter. There’s several accounts hinting the San Francisco 49ers are talking to the Cleveland Browns about a deal.
No reputable “blue check marks” to cite, rather, just rampant speculation from fans hungry for some sports talk. That’s not to say the speculation is wrong. OBJ trade rumors exist because it seems like the wideout has been out the market ever since the Browns acquired him last March.
The 49ers need a receiver and San Francisco was reportedly one of the teams Beckham told to “Come get” him during the 2019 season.
The Athletic’s David Lombardi recently wrote about the connection, but noted the high cost Beckham would cost the 49ers because he’s still under contract for four years. Beckham would incur cap hits of about $15 million annually.
Factoring in the money it’ll take to sign the new draft class, the 49ers have roughly $11 million in cap space. Unless the organization does something major, they currently don’t have room to fit Beckham into their salary cap.
That said, it wouldn’t be impossible to move things around, but it seems more likely the 49ers use the 31st pick in the draft to draft a receiver and pay him a rookie wage, rather than taking on a one-time elite player who’s two seasons removed from his last elite season.
Beckham to the 49ers seems unlikely, but never say never to an OBJ trade, whether it’s to San Francisco or elsewhere. The Browns have so much money locked up in the wide receiver position and that strategy goes against what Paul DePodesta preaches.
Owner Jimmy Haslam did talk about Beckham as one of the key players in his post-season press conference, and that does count for something. Owners are out to make money, but they like to have a little fun…wouldn’t you if you owned a pro sports team?
With that in mind, Beckham is a shiny toy that brings attention–for better or worse–to your franchise.
Look for OBJ to be in a Browns’ uniform in 2020, but his future in Cleveland beyond this season is murky, at best.