Why Patriots (Probably) Won’t Pursue Odell Beckham Jr. After Brandin Cooks Trade


April 3, 2018

The thought of the New England Patriots trading for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. after reportedly dealing fellow wideout Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams is wildly entertaining.

After all, who wouldn’t want to see Beckham bring both his talent and flamboyance to Foxboro, where he’d play alongside the greatest quarterback in NFL history and a head coach whose patience would be tested if the polarizing 25-year-old misbehaved in any way?

The scenario also seems incredibly unlikely, though, especially with Jason La Canfora throwing cold water on the possibility Tuesday night.

The Patriots have a whole bunch of draft picks with which to deal after reportedly landing a first-rounder (23rd overall) and a sixth-rounder in exchange for Cooks and a fourth-rounder.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Bill Belichick has his sights set on a trade for Beckham, though. In fact, a trade for Beckham would be far less rational than fascinating.

The Giants reportedly are seeking at least two first-round picks in a trade for Beckham. The Patriots could meet those demands, even supplying the Giants with two first-rounders this year (Nos. 23 and 31 overall), but it’s possible they traded Cooks in large because he’s a free agent after this season and they didn’t intend to pay market value for the veteran wide receiver. Why then would they turn around and trade for Beckham, another star receiver who’s headed for free agency next offseason? Beckham, despite being an elite player, is going to command even more money, and it’s farfetched to think the Patriots would ever consider giving him the largest non-quarterback contract in NFL history.

The more likely scenario is the Patriots will use their picks to either move up and select Tom Brady’s successor in a quarterback-heavy first round or stand pat, perhaps choosing a quarterback and a wide receiver. Obviously, there’s no guarantee any drafted player will become the NFL superstar Beckham already is, but it’s actually the safer move given the chances of OBJ staying in New England beyond one season.

Plus, it’s not like the Patriots don’t still have solid wide receiver depth for 2018 even after trading Cooks and losing Danny Amendola in free agency. If New England is going to add another wide receiver, it would make more sense to draft one with a long-term outlook.

So yes, OBJ catching passes from Brady — and potentially causing Belichick to pull his own hair out if the Pro Bowl receiver’s rollercoaster Giants tenure is any indication — would be downright awesome from an entertainment standpoint. But it’s probably a sight reserved mostly for video games, for better or worse.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images
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