CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns made the move of the offseason when they agreed to trade safety Jabrill Peppers and a pair of picks in the 2019 NFL Draft to the New York Giants for Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
And the move was met with plenty of excitement for the Browns, especially within the locker room, where third-year defensive end Myles Garrett believes the team is “absolutely” the favorite to win the AFC North Division in 2019.
“I think the tide has turned and can’t wait to get out there and prove it,” Garrett told NFL Total Access on the NFL Network shortly after reports came out about the trade. “It looks good on paper, but we’ve got to prove it.”
Over 59 regular-season games, including 56 starts, in five years with the Giants, Beckham Jr. turned 622 targets into 390 receptions for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. Beckham Jr. averaged 92.8 yards per game, including a league-best 108.8 during the 2014 season.
Beckham Jr. has put four 1,000-yard and three double-digit touchdown seasons on his resume since being selected with a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Louisiana State University.
Last season, Beckham Jr. turned into a 77-catch, 1,052-yard, six-touchdown effort for the Giants.
Beckham Jr. is a three-time Pro Bowl selection (2014-2016) and two-time Second Team All-Pro honoree (2015-2016) during his five years with the Giants.
And Garrett was far from the only player excited about the addition of Beckham Jr.
Former left tackle Joe Thomas even contemplated coming out of retirement for a one-night-only appearance.
Coupled with emerging talents at quarterback (Baker Mayfield), running back (Nick Chubb), receiver (Antonio Callaway) and tight end (David Njoku), consistent receiver Jarvis Landry, a teammate of Beckham Jr.’s at LSU, the defense is even more motivated to do their jobs well so they can get back to the sideline and let the offense go to work.
“Mostly, I’ve heard from the D-linemen, and they’re excited,” Garrett said. “We want to see them score points so we can get on the field, make big plays, get sacks, strip sacks and just get the ball back to them so we can watch them score.
“There’s going to be an offensive, high-flying display on the other side of the ball, and we can’t wait to get the ball back to them.”