With the new league year set to begin on Wednesday at 4pm EST and the “legal tampering” period officially open, NFL news, rumors and hot takes are running rampant.
One tweet that especially caught my eye was from NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks. Brooks asked if it would make sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars to trade for New York Giants All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
Brooks, who played for the Jaguars in 1996 and 1997 as a defensive back and kick returner, offered the hypothetical trade scenario of a first-round and a third-round draft pick for Beckham’s services.
By “recent developments” Brooks may have been referring to the speculation that Allen Robinson is leaving town, as we now know to be true. He may also have been talking about the recent video that emerged of Beckham — or perhaps a combination of both of those aforementioned things.
The Jaguars are lacking a play-making wide receiver. Beckham was drafted by Tom Coughlin, who is currently leading the Jaguars front office. Coughlin coached Odell in 2015 and 2016. So there is an obvious connection there, and maybe this is not as crazy as it sounds.
But should the Jaguars trade for Beckham?
With Robinson inevitably leaving in free agency, the Jaguars will be without a true No. 1 receiver. That is a problem in an offense that can struggle in the passing game, but the Jaguars don’t seem to be putting a huge priority on the position. With Sammy Watkins off of the table, there are still some free agent, albeit underwhelming, options available, such as Paul Richardson, Donte Moncrief, Taylor Gabriel or Terrelle Pryor. Jacksonville is also expected to add a pass-catching tight end in free agency or the draft.
While this draft class doesn’t appear to have a lot of star power, there are plenty of solid options. At the end of the first round, the Jaguars could target SMU’s Courtland Sutton, Oklahoma State’s James Washington or Maryland’s D.J. Moore. Players like Christian Kirk (Texas A&M), Michael Gallup (Colorado State), Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame), D.J. Chark (LSU) or Anthony Miller (Memphis) could be Day 2 picks who could become immediate starters.
Then there are a few other reasons as to why this move wouldn’t make sense for the Jaguars — or even the Giants. First and foremost, Beckham is coming off a major ankle injury. Odell played in just four games in 2017. He missed Week 1 with an unrelated ankle injury, and then fractured it in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
While Beckham is expected to be able to go to begin the 2018 season, you never know how a serious injury could affect a player going forward — which could be a big reason why the Jaguars didn’t opt to franchise tag Robinson. This, coupled with the recent off the field issue for Beckham, doesn’t scream “smart move to me.”
Then there is the trade itself. Would the Jaguars be willing to give up a first-rounder and a third-rounder for a wide receiver of Beckham’s talent? On the other end of the spectrum, would that be all the Giants need to part ways with their star play-maker? Probably not. The Jaguars just don’t value wide receiver anymore, which is a surprising move away from spending two draft picks on receivers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft after picking Blake Bortles earlier that night.
Oh and the contract. Beckham is in the final year of his rookie contract and set to earn $8.459 million. After the 2018 season, he will command a huge contract, and likely reset the market at the position. It doesn’t seem likely that the Jaguars would trade for Beckham on a one-year lease, or be willing to make him the highest-paid receiver in the league.
I just don’t see this being anything more than a pipe dream or conversation piece during free agency week.
What do y’all think?
Should the Jaguars go after Odell Beckham Jr. via trade?
This poll is closed