Nick Wright wondered Tuesday on FS1’s “First Things First” whether the New England Patriots should pursue a trade for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
This hardly is the first time Beckham has been linked to New England, but Wright revealed that he received a text message Monday from a “trusted NFL source” saying the OBJ trade rumors are rumbling again.
Wright, who clarified that his source didn’t mention a specific team in connection with Beckham, also offered an alternative trade target for the Patriots: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen.
“I think quietly the Odell trade rumblings are coming back. While we were talking about the Browns (on Monday), I had a really trusted person text me and say that Odell could be available,” Wright said. “And now they didn’t connect him to the Patriots — I’m connecting him to the Patriots — (but) I’m gonna throw another name at you who probably seems more Patriot-esque as far as their history with skill-position guys. I wonder if Adam Thielen’s available.
“That team (Minnesota) stinks. They need draft picks. He’s on a very reasonable contract.”
Thielen doesn’t quite have Beckham’s star power, but the Vikings wideout has been a solid player in his own right, earning back-to-back Pro Bowl selections in 2017 and 2018. He caught a career-high 113 passes for 1,373 yards with nine touchdown receptions in 2018.
Thielen turned 30 in August, whereas Beckham will turn just 28 in November. There’s far more upside with Beckham in terms of age and skill, plus there’s been very little speculation about Minnesota’s willingness — or lack thereof — to trade Thielen.
But Thielen isn’t the worst backup plan should Cleveland ultimately balk at trading Beckham. He’s productive, sure-handed and far better than any of New England’s current pass catchers, a group that desperately needs a shot in the arm after another shaky showing by Cam Newton.