In a stunning, audacious move, the Giants on Tuesday traded wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the team’s most popular and talented player, to the Cleveland Browns for safety Jabrill Peppers and the Browns’ first and third round choices in next month’s college draft.
The deal, which cannot be completed until the new league year begins on Wednesday, was confirmed by persons with knowledge of the trade who were not authorized to discuss it.
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It will be one of the biggest trades in the 94-year history of the typically staid Giants franchise and may prove to be the most controversial. Beckham’s spectacular acrobatic catches, stirring touchdown runs and provocative end zone dances, made him a prominent and occasionally polarizing figure in New York and throughout the N.F.L.
Nonetheless, since his rookie year in 2014, Beckham’s career, which has already included three Pro Bowl selections, was viewed as incandescent and the Giants seemed to recognize that potential by rewarding Beckham with a five-year, $90 million contract extension last year that made him the league’s highest paid wide receiver.
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