The OBJ trade talk needs to be taken seriously, at least for now

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The biggest story from Wednesday could end up being a nothing burger, or it could be a hot tamale. For now, there’s not much clarity regarding talk of a potential trade that would send receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the Browns to the Vikings. And that lack of clarity requires the talk to be taken somewhat seriously, at least for now.

At the risk of outing sources (which some consider to be bad form, but sometimes it’s necessary), it doesn’t take a genius (which means I’m qualified) to connect the dots from Marc Malusis of WFAN — the Giants’ flagship station — back to the team that drafted OBJ and employed him for five years. If the Vikings are considering trading for Beckham, the Vikings surely are doing their homework. That homework surely includes contacting, wait for it, the Giants.

Thus, the Vikings call the Giants and someone with the Giants leaks it to Malusis, and sometimes it’s just that simple.

From the Vikings’ perspective, don’t expect anything definitive unless and until a deal is done, if a deal is done. From “we have no intent to trade Percy Harvin” to “Stefon Diggs is a Minnesota Viking,” Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman has mastered the art of hedging his words when it comes to potential trades. Given that Beckham is under contract with the Browns, Spielman has any easy way to avoid any commentary on the topic, by simply citing a blanket position that the team doesn’t ever discuss issues related to players under contract with other teams.

From Cleveland’s perspective, the smart move (if there’s nothing to the trade talk) would be to shout from the rooftops that there’s nothing to the trade talk. Instead, the only Browns-side reporting comes from Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who cites not a Browns source but a “source close to the Vikings” in support of the notion that the WFAN report is “false.”

So why aren’t the Browns saying anything, on or off the record, to Cabot? If there’s nothing to it, they need to put this fire out, quickly. If, alternatively, there’s a “there” there, the Browns are smart to not go there. If they tell Cabot that it’s false and she reports, citing a Browns source, that it’s false  and it ends up being not false, Cabot gets burned and the relationship gets damaged.

Bottom line? Based on how this emerged and how the teams involved have, and haven’t, reacted to it, it’s impossible to ignore it. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happening. But it can’t be written off as a non-story, yet.

24 responses to “The OBJ trade talk needs to be taken seriously, at least for now

  1. Except Moose Malusis said his ‘source’ was a Vikings source and not a Giants source per his radio interview on WFAN 92.3 Cleveland yesterday afternoon.

    As for Cabot not citing Browns sources is because she has no sources yet in this ‘regime’.

  2. Of course other teams will have talks and the Browns would not be doing their job if they were not interacting and listening to these conversations. That is part of day to day operation. Bottom line for OBJ is: Is the fruit worth the sqeeze? So far Giants look like they got the better end of the deal and I’m a huge Browns fan.

  3. Please make it happen . I cringed a year ago when my Browns traded for this wingnut . Nothing has changed . he is a 15 yard penalty waiting to happen . tired of clown cleats and his antics . The second coming of TO . What’s next from this wingnut pushups in his driveway . just send him packing please !

  4. “the smart move (if there’s nothing to the trade talk) would be to shout from the rooftops that there’s nothing to the trade talk.”
    ________________

    This is exactly true. They know who this guy is and how easily offended he can be. If they still wanted him they’d be knocking themselves out to convince him this was just some crazy, unfounded rumor. The big question is what do they do if they CAN’T trade him? He was a distraction last year when he (allegedly) wanted to play for them. Can you imagine what he’d be like with one foot out the door?

  5. Minnesota doe not need a washed-up aging player who demands top-dollar money when they have plenty of picks and good cheap options in the draft. They would likely have to trade Anthony Harris and then have to waste a pick at safety.

  6. No thanks. We’d rather roll with a rookie WR on cheap money for the next 5 years.

    Signed,
    – Viking Fans

  7. It’s not that they aren’t talking, maybe. It’s more questionable in the fact that it was announced the Vikings would give up a 2nd and a 5th, in 2021. That seems to weird, and specific. It’s early in the talks, but very specific details are leaked? The Vikings have 12 picks this year, so why would the Browns agree to such a lousy deal, and wait until next year for the picks?

    I’ll only start to believe the rumor if the Browns and Vikings deny a couple time that they are talking. The more that teams deny rumors, the more they usually come true.

  8. Brobokil says:
    April 16, 2020 at 11:24 am
    Minnesota doe not need a washed-up aging player
    ////////
    I don’t want him either. But I don’t think either one of your assessments is correct.

  9. I don’t think the Browns should say anything about any player,ever. It doesn’t take an Ivy League graduate to realize there is no player untouchable to trade or expendable to cut.The question is, do all these front office (& coach) Ivy League graduates have the common sense to realize that?

  10. If the Vikings get OBJ with a behavior clause & Trent Williams with an injury clause, the team will be adding 2 pro bowlers. I guess they both need to play at least 80% of the season. Be aggressive! Skol Vikings!

  11. conormacleod says:
    April 16, 2020 at 11:43 am

    It’s not that they aren’t talking, maybe. It’s more questionable in the fact that it was announced the Vikings would give up a 2nd and a 5th, in 2021. That seems to weird, and specific. It’s early in the talks, but very specific details are leaked? The Vikings have 12 picks this year, so why would the Browns agree to such a lousy deal, and wait until next year for the picks?
    ___________

    From what I heard, it’s a second this year and a fifth next year. The tweet was just poorly worded.

  12. whateverworks77 says:
    Except Moose Malusis said his ‘source’ was a Vikings source and not a Giants source per his radio interview on WFAN 92.3 Cleveland yesterday afternoon.
    ==

    And you believe him? I don’t pretend to know what is and isn’t truth here, but guys who want to keep their sources don’t out or burn them.
    It’s hardly far-fetched to believe that if the source did come from inside the Giants organization, Malusis might claim it came from a Vikings source to divert attention or suspicion from the true source.
    Nobody will know what is true unless this trade actually goes down, which I doubt.

  13. “If the Vikings are considering trading for Beckham, the Vikings surely are doing their homework. That homework surely includes contacting, wait for it, the Giants.”

    Assuming the Vikings did contact the Giants, here’s the conversation:

    Vikings – “Hey, we’re being offered OBJ for a couple of bottle caps and a pack of gum. Is he worth the headache?

    Giants – “No”

    Vikings – “Thanks”

  14. After more than a decade of employment Kevin Stefansky left the Vikings on good terms from everything I know. It wouldn’t be far-fetched at all that Stefansky would participate in a trade with the Vikings.

  15. Seems like an awfully high price for Minn. to pay. Just to get a huge case of cancer.

  16. Why is it imperative the Browns “put out this fire?” Who cares if no-names want to speculate until the cows come home. Who cares?

  17. You can call the Vikings and their management anything you want, but one thing is certain — info doesn’t leak out of that organization. Other than the fact that OBJ’s cap hit just doesn’t work, and Zimmer hates divas, I question the validity of this rumor based on the claim that this is a leak from a MN source. If the Browns are trying to create a trade market for OBJ, leaking this kind of stuff is the way to facilitate the process. I’d be amazed if there were any legs to this rumor.

  18. conormacleod says:
    April 16, 2020 at 11:43 am
    It’s not that they aren’t talking, maybe. It’s more questionable in the fact that it was announced the Vikings would give up a 2nd and a 5th, in 2021. That seems to weird, and specific. It’s early in the talks, but very specific details are leaked? The Vikings have 12 picks this year, so why would the Browns agree to such a lousy deal, and wait until next year for the picks?

    I’ll only start to believe the rumor if the Browns and Vikings deny a couple time that they are talking. The more that teams deny rumors, the more they usually come true.

    15 0 Rate This
    ———————————————————————————-
    They are willing to wait on those picks for next year because they are desperate to get rid of him and the Vikings know it. Odell has been regressing exponentially for years. Factor in his erratic behavior and unwillingness to put in the off-season work you can see why he would be a hard sell for any team.

    There is also a new regime in Cleveland (again) and maybe they haven’t warmed to her yet. Remember the big fallout over the AJ Mcarron failed trade a couple of years ago that she refused to back down from? That was another regime with Jackson/Sashi but she has been on the job in Cleveland a long time so there is that.

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