The best and worst moves of the NFL offseason

After a wild NFL offseason, the impact of team transactions is already becoming clearer as teams settle into the preseason.  1 of 24

Best: Bills sign John Brown

Young Bills quarterback Josh Allen has perhaps the strongest arm in the NFL, but the Bills were lacking a true speed receiver going into the offseason. That changed when they signed Brown to a three-year, $27 million contract. While Brown has struggled with injuries recently, he managed to stay on the field in Baltimore last year and averaged 17.0 yards per reception. He gives Buffalo the deep option it desperately needed. 2 of 24

Worst: Bengals re-sign Bobby Hart

Despite his struggles at tackle last year, the Bengals still re-signed Hart to a three-year, $21 million deal. That was much to the chagrin of Bengals fans who watched him struggle last year on what continues to be one of the league’s weakest offensive lines. 3 of 24

Best: Browns acquire Odell Beckham Jr.

The headlining move of the entire offseason was general manager John Dorsey’s trade for Beckham. Often a distraction in New York, Beckham is still undeniably one of the top wideouts in the league and now has a promising young quarterback in Baker Mayfield throwing him the ball. Cleveland is all in for the 2019 season, and Beckham is capable of bringing the Browns to the next level. 4 of 24

Worst: Broncos acquire Joe Flacco

There’s nothing that sets an NFL organization back more than investing in the wrong quarterback. Flacco’s experience is attractive, but he’s been one of the league’s worst starters over the last few years in Baltimore. Since 2015, Flacco is 24-27 as a starter with a mediocre 82.7 Quarterback Rating. It could just be that Flacco is a stopgap for second-round pick Drew Lock, but it looks like he will start most, if not all, of the 2019 season. 5 of 24

Best: Cardinals hire Kliff Kingsbury

Cardinals fans have reason to be excited about the near future even if the team doesn’t win many games this season. Kingsbury was regarded as an offensive genius at Texas Tech, and he has some interesting weapons to work with in Arizona, led by No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. Arizona’s defense could be a nightmare, much like Kingsbury’s defenses were with the Red Raiders, as Patrick Peterson is suspended to start the year and No. 2 corner Robert Alford is injured. Still, there should be plenty of scoring, with the hope that Arizona can get the personnel to develop a defense later. 6 of 24

Worst: 49ers sign Tevin Coleman

San Francisco had one of the league’s most potent running attacks last season, even without Jerick McKinnon, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert proved that they earned more playing time, but that’s unlikely to happen after the 49ers signed Coleman. He has a history with head coach Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta, but he has never seen 200 touches in an NFL season and seems replaceable for the two-year, $8.5 million price tag. 7 of 24

Best: Chiefs sign Tyrann Mathieu

The Chiefs defense lost Justin Houston, Dee Ford and Eric Berry in the offseason. Without those key veterans, they clearly needed new veteran leadership for new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, and Mathieu is set to take on that role. He’s coming off one of his best seasons in Houston despite six years in the league and still just 27 years old. Mathieu’s versatility to play safety or corner is perfect for his new system and the Chiefs’ dire needs in the secondary. 8 of 24

Worst: Giants draft Daniel Jones

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By: Seth Trachtman

Odell Beckham Jr. traded to Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. is finally on the move. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that the Giants are trading the wide receiver to the Browns.

It sound like New York has received a relative haul for their star receiver. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Giants will be receiving a 2019 first-rounder (No. 17 overall), a 2019 third-rounder (No. 95), and safety Jabrill Peppers. The deal will leave $16M in dead money for the Giants, who inked the receiver to a five-year, $95 million contract ($65M guaranteed) back in August. The move will open up $5M in cap space, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

This would seem to be a relatively big haul for Beckham, especially when you consider what the Steelers recently received for Antonio Brown. While Brown is older and desired a new contract, Pittsburgh was still only able to fetch a third-round pick (No. 66 overall) and fifth-round pick (No. 141) from the Raiders.

There had been conflicting reports regarding Beckham’s availability in recent days. Despite general manager Dave Gettleman‘s consistent insistence that Beckham was not available, we learned yesterday that the Giants had been discussing a trade. We heard earlier today that an AFC North team was engaged in conversations with the Giants, and we’ve now learned that the team was Cleveland.

The Browns seemed like a relatively natural fit for Beckham and his $18M salary. Despite signing Jarvis Landry to a lucrative deal last offseason, Cleveland’s front office was still hunting around for a big-name addition. The 26-year-old surely fits that bill, as he’ll team up with Landry, quarterback Baker Mayfield, and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to form one of the more talented offenses in the NFL.

The 26-year-old was still productive in 2018 despite missing four games due to a quad injury. In 12 games, Beckham hauled in 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns. The former first-rounder is all over the Giants all-time leaders list, with top-five appearances in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions.

While the focus of the trade will surround Beckham, Peppers is an intriguing inclusion in the deal. The former Michigan standout had spent the first two seasons of his career in Cleveland, including a 2018 campaign where he compiled 79 tackles, one sack, and five passes defended. While the 23-year-old hasn’t necessarily displayed the talent that earned him a first-round selection, he’s still an intriguing asset for the Giants. While the team recently added Antoine Bethea, Peppers could theoretically supplant Michael Thomas in the starting lineup.

Original Article

By: Ben Levine

Winners and losers from NFL Week 8

Before Sunday’s slate of games got going, there was some serious drama in London as the Jacksonville Jaguars made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

That should have clued us in to the fact that NFL Week 8 was going to get weird.

The league’s most dominant defense was smashed to bits. Adrian Peterson outplayed Saquon Barkley. And a former No. 1 overall pick hit a new low.

These were the biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 8.

Top matchup for each Week 6 NFL game

During this week’s slate of NFL games, a ton of individual matchups will take center stage as 30 of the league’s 32 teams take to the field.

Can Denzel Ward continue his great rookie season in route to leading the Browns to a winning record against Keenan Allen and the equally hot Los Angeles Chargers? Patrick Peterson will look to continue his excellent play in hopes of stopping a Vikings receiver in Adam Thielen who is on pace to break the single-season catch mark. And in Kansas City, the Patriots must contend with the league’s best offense, Tyreek Hill included.

These are among the top individual matchups for each Week 6 NFL game.

Odell Beckham Breaks Ankle, And Giants Fall To 0-5

Written by Bob Glauber at Newsday.com

This was about much more than a likely season-ending injury for Odell Beckham Jr., who on Sunday fractured the left ankle he sprained in preseason.

This was about a potentially franchise-altering decision down the road concerning the wunderkind receiver. Beckham went up for an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter and got his ankle caught under Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward. That gut-wrenching moment not only piled more misery on an already awful Giants season but also could shape Beckham’s future.

The thing you have to ask yourself now: Will Beckham ever be the same again?

The Giants’ decision-makers won’t begin to assess that question for several months, once they have a sense of how Beckham is recovering from the worst injury of his career. But it will be one of the central issues facing an 0-5 team that has begun the season with such colossal ineptitude.

Even the most wide-eyed optimist would agree that the Giants are headed for one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Yes, they started 2013 0-6 and came back to win seven of their final 10 games. But that was when their roster needed a major overhaul, before an infusion of free-agent defensive talent and before Beckham’s arrival provided an electrifying jolt to an offense in need of fixing.

The Giants look more like the Jets team we expected to see this season. They’re buried in last place in the NFC East, while the Jets are 3-2 and tied for the AFC East lead with the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots and the Bills.

Until late in the 27-22 loss to the previously winless Chargers, Beckham was one of the only Giants worth watching. He’s their best player, and his performance was the only thing that gave them even a chance at winning. They came close the last three weeks against the Eagles, Bucs and Chargers, and he was their only consistent offensive threat in all three games. Against the Chargers, his 48-yard touchdown gave the Giants a 22-17 fourth-quarter lead.

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OBJ Could Miss Opener Against Cowboys

Written by Jordan Ranaan and Dan Graziano at ESPN.com

Odell Beckham Jr.’s ankle injury could potentially keep the New York Giants wide receiver out of the season opener, sources told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan and Dan Graziano.

The Giants open their season on the road on Sept. 10 against the Dallas Cowboys.

It’s “not out of the question he could miss a week or two of the regular season,” according to one source.

Beckham left Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns after taking a hard hit to the left leg from Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. An X-ray during the game was negative. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday that confirmed a sprained ankle.

Despite jogging into the locker room and expressing optimism after the game, Beckham felt “very sore” on Tuesday, according to another source. He’s likely to miss the Giants’ final two preseason games.

Coach Ben McAdoo said the team would see how Beckham responds to treatment.

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Giants Struggle As OBJ And Marshall Get Injured

Written by Jordan Ranaan at ESPN.com

An injury to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was about the worst thing the New York Giants could have imagined Monday night in their 10-6 preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns. It happened.

Fortunately, X-rays on Beckham’s ankle were negative and the Giants calling it a sprain. Beckham will have further tests when the team returns home. Combine that with wide receiver Brandon Marshall leaving the game and needing an X-ray on his shoulder and it wasn’t a good evening for the Giants.

They are an offense built around big-play weapons. They can’t afford to lose any of those weapons — especially Beckham — considering their ground game again looks non-existent. Starting running back Paul Perkins managed 10 yards on six carries against the Browns as the first-team offense failed to impress for a second straight game.

It looked a lot like last season’s Giants. Their starting defense played well, and their offense stumbled and didn’t score points. It’s the second straight week the first-team offense hasn’t impressed.

As if that wasn’t enough, then Beckham and Marshall were injured. It was close to the Giants’ worst nightmare.

QB depth chart: Eli Manning started after sitting out the preseason opener and was 10-of-14 passing for 80 yards. There weren’t many shots downfield. It was mostly wide receiver screens and quick-hitters. Geno Smith again showed promise, much like last week, until making a costly mistake. He was 11-of-17 passing for 79 yards, but his interception near the end zone and sack in the two-minute drill late in the first half ruined an otherwise fine performance. It’s these kinds of mistakes that hurt Smith’s chances of making the team.

Josh Johnson also didn’t impress in the fourth quarter, although he was hurt by a fumble that appeared to be rookie running back Wayne Gallman’s fault. Johnson finished 2-of-4 for 6 yards and was unable to lead a winning drive in the final minutes.

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Is Odell Beckham’s Attitude Hurting Him In Long Run?

Written by Jeff Diamond at Sporting News.com

The list of ridiculous Odell Beckham Jr. statements and actions continues to grow. The latest is his proclamation that he should be the NFL’s highest-paid player regardless of position.

Hey, OBJ, have you ever heard of a position called quarterback?

There’s a pattern here. This is a guy who is clearly more interested in being a celebrity than a great football player.

 

I think it’s great when players are confident, and during my NFL management career, I worked with a lot of star players who had big personalities. Guys like Vikings Hall of Famers Fran Tarkenton and Cris Carter talked a lot and were supremely confident, but they were team players and leaders.

Beckham goes beyond being self-assured to the persona of a cocky, obnoxious egomaniac. His pompous and spoiled act has to be wearing thin with the Giants execs and coaches. His teammates who are leaders, like Eli Manning and Landon Collins, have to roll their eyes and question Beckham’s level of commitment.

Prior to the absurd comment about his pay, Beckham made news by skipping Giants OTAs to supposedly make a stand on his contract demands. Then there was his infamous South Beach excursion to party the week before his dreadful performance in January’s playoff loss in Green Bay. For those who were keeping track — and that surely includes Giants brass, coach Ben McAdoo, Manning, the New York media and the Giants’ fan base — the tally was four catches for 28 yards, two drops and one Lambeau Field wall punch.

The selfish fighting with Josh Norman in a Giants-Panthers game a couple of years ago. The showing up on TV entertainment shows in an attempt to make himself more than just another NFL star.

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Odell Drops Passes And Punches Holes Into Walls After Giants Loss


Written by Jordan Raanan at ESPN.com

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. allegedly punched a hole in a wall after his team’s 38-13 playoff loss to the Packers in Green Bay, according to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, who also saw Beckham banging his head against a door.

Grounds crew members told Paolantonio that they heard someone hitting the wall outside the crew’s locker room at Lambeau Field, which is located adjacent to the interview room where Beckham had just spoken with reporters. When grounds crew members came out of the locker room, they saw Beckham and the hole in the wall.

Paolantonio said Beckham then banged his head against the door outside the Giants locker room.

NFL security is investigating the hole in the wall. A security employee told Paolantonio that the security team took pictures, spoke with members of the grounds crew, and took their phone numbers for follow-up interviews.

A Giants spokesman said the team is aware of the incident but isn’t commenting.

Prior to the incident, Beckham was calm and composed during his postgame media conference.

“These are the learning experiences, as tough as they are,” Beckham said. “This is what you stand on and grow from. It sucks. There is no way to put it. It sucks. It is a horrible feeling.”

The second-team All-Pro receiver finished with just four catches for 28 yards on 11 targets. He also dropped a pair of passes, including one that would have been a touchdown in the first quarter. Instead, the Giants settled for a field goal.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a long offseason,” Beckham said. “At the end of the day, you just have to take it and you have to grow. You have to learn from it and find ways not to have this feeling again.”

The 28-yard output is tied for the second-fewest receiving yards in any game of Beckham’s career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The weather may also have been a factor. All three of Beckham’s multi-drop games have come when the kickoff temperature was below 41 degrees.

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Odell Says Something Bad Joke About Stevie Wonder


Written by Jordan Raanan at ESPN.com

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. would like to take back his comments after Sunday’s 24-14 loss to thePittsburgh Steelers, even if he still believes “Stevie Wonder can see it” when referencing the officials’ questionable decisions throughout the contest.

Beckham was upset about several calls and non-calls — especially a questionable first-quarter offensive pass interference — and being told by one official to “get out of my face” when he asked for an explanation. He even suggested that referee Terry McAulay’s crew shouldn’t be allowed to work another Giants game given their past history.

Three days later, as Beckham and the Giants were in the midst of preparing for a Sunday night matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, he was feeling some regret for his comments.

“It’s not really any point of talking about it. Nothing is going to change,” Beckham said on Wednesday. “You’re sitting there wasting breath.”

Coach Ben McAdoo agreed with Beckham that there were some questionable calls in the game. McAdoo said he was going to utilize the league’s process where teams can send plays in for clarification purposes. That process would get “plenty of use” this week, according to McAdoo.

The Giants’ coach clearly had his star player’s back.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Beckham said. “Like I said, everybody knows what is going on on the field. Everybody can see it. Stevie Wonder can see it. It is what it is. You can’t do anything about it. There is no point.”

After the loss to the Steelers, the Giants (8-4) are going to need some wins down the stretch against difficult competition to qualify for the playoffs.

After the loss to the Steelers, the Giants (8-4) are going to need some wins down the stretch against difficult competition to qualify for the playoffs.

Beckham doesn’t see any benefit harping on the past at this point. His full attention is on the Cowboys and helping the struggling Giants get back on track.

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