Browns should be cautious in making a play for Odell Beckham

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants returns a punt against Don Carey #26 of the Detroit Lions during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants returns a punt against Don Carey #26 of the Detroit Lions during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns are looking for real football players, so will they be in the mix if wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. hits the trade market?

The Cleveland Browns started to reshape the wide receiver position earlier this month with the trade for Jarvis Landry.

Landry joins Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman in what, at least on paper, could turn into one of the best wide receiver groups the Browns have had since the glory days of Webster Slaughter, Reggie Langhorne and Brian Brennan in the late 1980s.

But could general manager John Dorsey be willing to make an even bigger splash at the position by striking a deal with the New York Giants for Odell Beckham Jr.?

It may be hard to believe, but the Giants may be ready to move on from Beckham after seeing him average 96 receptions, 1,374 yards and 11.7 touchdowns from 2014 through 2016.

That could become a reality, however, after a video surfaced over the weekend of Beckham, a woman, a credit card and a powdery substance. That video, the latest in a long line of off-field moments for Beckham, has Giants owner John Mara about ready to call it quits, according to The Washington Post:

"“I’ve said before that I’m tired of answering questions about Odell’s behavior and what the latest incident is. I think he knows what we expect of him, and now it’s up to him. I know we’re certainly not shopping him, if that’s what you’re asking. But, again, when you’re coming off a season where you’re 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn’t say anybody is untouchable.”"

Throw in the fact that Beckham, who is entering the final season of his contract, has publicly stated that he wants a new contract now, if not sooner, or he will not be suiting up this fall.

So what does that mean for the Browns?

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There are a few connections in Cleveland that could help Beckham transition to the Browns, most notably Landry, a teammate at LSU, and wide receivers coach Adam Henry, who coached Beckham with both the Giants and at LSU.

The Browns also have the cap space necessary to give Beckham a new deal, although with Landry in the final year of his contract as well, that could potentially be a lot of money to tie up in one position. One factor working in the Browns favor is that they will have their next quarterback working on a team-friendly rookie deal for the next five years, so that frees up some cash.

Beckham would also be a nice insurance policy in case Gordon runs afoul of the league’s substance-abuse policy again.

So what’s the downside?

For starters, as talented as he is on the field, Beckham is a bit of a headache off of it. Some of it is overblown because of playing in New York, but there is no question that Beckham is a bit … temperamental.

The Browns dealt with the Johnny Manziel madness for two years, have put up with Gordon’s off-field issues since 2013, and part of why the Dolphins got rid of Landry is that they are creating a “new culture” around the team.

Adding Beckham, who might be more interested in when that new contract is coming than in the team’s turnaround, could be rough.

Beckham, Landry and Gordon all have big personalities, which can make life tough for a quarterback in the huddle as everyone is barking in their ear for the ball. That is true of veterans, so imagine what it would be like with a rookie quarterback trying to keep everyone on line?

That may sound silly to people who believe you can build an actual NFL team the way you do a fantasy football team, but it does need to be part of the discussion.

Finally, what would the Giants want in return for Beckham, and how much would be too much for the Browns to pay?

The No. 4 overall selection has to be off the board as there are no guarantees that Beckham will want to sign a new contract with the Browns. That might be a deal breaker for the Giants as, according to Pat Leonard at The New York Daily News, the Giants will be looking for a first-round pick and more, but the Browns have some big holes on the roster that can be filled by a talented player in that draft slot.

That is just a starting point, however, so a seasoned “football guy” like Dorsey is not going to just surrender a high draft pick without some creative negotiating, so it could be possible that the Browns could land Beckham and keep both of their first-round selections.

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He has only been on the job for a few months, but Dorsey has shown he is not afraid to make a big move. Trading for Beckham would certainly fall into that category, but whether or not Dorsey agrees remains to be seen.