Browns fans should separate Odell Beckham from Odell Beckham’s contract
We can be big fans of Odell Beckham, Jr. while not so impressed with John Dorsey’s trade that brought him to Cleveland.
This article is for those haters of Odell Beckham, Jr. of the Cleveland Browns. What do you hate about him? Some people hate him for being too rich, too outspoken, having too many fans, or being too handsome.
All this is beyond the power of Dawg Pound Daily to combat or correct.
However, what we can talk about with better certainty is the finances. Those of us who are amateur general managers may talk about his contract and total valuation and save all the hateful nonsense for a bit later. If former Browns general manager John Dorsey paid way too much for OBJ — and he did — that’s not the fault of the player.
That’s the fault of the man who made the deal. Dorsey was a brilliant evaluator of talent but made several miscalculations in cap management, and that can be proven in this article for our loyal readers. Read on o faithful denizens of the Dawg Pound.
In 2019, OBJ was freshly under contract with the New York Giants but was unhappy with the team. Come to think of it, everyone in New York is still unhappy with the Giants and they are talking about firing coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman even as these words are being written.
It’s worth mentioning that the Giants fan base is the same group of savvy fans that was burning Eli Manning jerseys in the Meadowlands parking lot late in 2007, a few months before they won the Super Bowl. But no matter, OBJ had worn out his welcome with the team, and New York’s front office was receptive to trading him.
OBJ’s contract extension, signed in 2018, was worth five years, $95 million, with $65 million guaranteed, $20 million in the form of a signing bonus. What happens when a trade is made, of course, is that signing bonus money charges, normally spread over the length of the contract, are immediately brought forward to the current fiscal year.
The Giants 2018 cap had been charged $4.0 million. The remaining $16 million in dead money was charged to their 2019 cap. The Browns didn’t have to pay any part of the bonus, even though 2019 was the first year that the extension kicked in.
Cleveland gave up a first-round pick, 17th overall, which was used by the Giants to select Dexter Lawrence, whose rookie contract is worth $13.2 million over four years.
They also traded Jabrill Peppers, who had been selected with the 25th overall pick in 2017, to a four-year rookie deal, worth $10.3 million. Thus, the Browns were two years into the deal. his signing bonus was $5.7 million, so the Browns 2019 cap was charged for two years of that bonus, or $2.9 million.
Now let’s add everything up financially, shown in the Tweet below, courtesy of your humble correspondent, with numbers that are derived from Spotrac.com.
Here’s the part that doesn’t make sense. If the Giants were paying $20 million dollars for OBJ in 2019 at fair value, why was it a good idea for the Browns to then pay almost exactly the same total amount of total cap charges ($19.8 million versus $20.2 million) that the Giants were going to pay for OBJ, and give up Jabrill Peppers and a first-round draft pick?
Let’s do a deep dive on that issue on the next page.