CLEVELAND -- Odell Beckham Jr. is about to run a deep route out of New Jersey -- straight to Cleveland.
The superstar wide receiver is bound for the Browns to be a target for quarterback Baker Mayfield as the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.
The Browns are sending first- and third-round picks this year along with safety Jabrill Peppers to the Giants for Beckham, one of the NFL's top players, said the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because league rules prohibit teams from announcing trades until 3 p.m. Central today.
The deal is conditional on both players passing physicals.
With the Browns, Beckham will be reunited with receiver Jarvis Landry, a close friend and teammate at LSU. He'll also give Mayfield an elite weapon, and his arrival could vault the Browns, who went 7-8-1 last season after not winning a game in 2017, into legitimate championship contenders.
Rumors of a possible deal have swirled for weeks, with several Browns players teasing a major move by Cleveland General Manager John Dorsey on social media. Dorsey pulled it off, bringing a major talent to accelerate his attempt to rebuild the Browns into consistent winners. Cleveland hasn't been to the playoffs since 2002.
Before last season, Beckham became the league's highest-paid receiver with a five-year, $90 million contract extension.
Beckham played five seasons in New York, making the Pro Bowl in his first three. He was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014.
The Giants had been reluctant to trade Beckham, with GM Dave Gettleman insisting over the past few months that the club did not sign him to the historic deal in late August to trade him. But the Browns were persistent and Dorsey, who has remolded the Browns since coming to Cleveland at the end of 2017, came up with a package the Giants simply couldn't resist.
"John Dorsey is officially a genius..." tweeted Browns defensive back Damarious Randall.
And now new Browns Coach Freddie Kitchens has another playmaker for Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick last year who had a dazzling debut season in which he set the NFL record for touchdown passes by a rookie.
With the trade of Beckham, the Giants' offense has lost its top playmaker, although one could argue the team started shifting that role to halfback Saquon Barkley last season. Barkley beat out Mayfield for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Complicating the situation: The Giants haven't figured out their quarterback situation. Manning is 38 and the team has only made the playoffs once since winning the Super Bowl in February 2012.
But the Giants have three of the top 37 draft picks in April, and 12 overall. They have their eye on taking a franchise quarterback, perhaps Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray or Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins.
The Kansas City Chiefs' defensive overhaul intensified Tuesday night, this time with a trade sending pass rusher Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers.
Ford, who was franchise tagged by the organization a week ago, will go to the 49ers in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick, a source confirmed to The Kansas City Star.
According to a report from ESPN's Josina Anderson, the deal is in line to be a five-year contract worth $87.5 million.
With Ford gone, the Chiefs are down both of their top pass rushers from a season ago after releasing veteran linebacker Justin Houston on Sunday. But the moves have also freed up nearly $30 million in cap space. $14 million of that went to signing Tyrann Mathieu, but with Ford's trade, the Chiefs have an additional $15.4 million in cap space to work with in free agency.
Ford is coming off his best season with the Chiefs. In 16 games as a starter, Ford amassed 13 sacks to go with 51 tackles and 7 forced fumbles.
He finishes his five-year Chiefs career with 129 career tackles and 30.5 sacks.
Sports on 03/13/2019
Print Headline: Browns new home for WR Beckham