Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta confirmed Cleveland's unwillingness to ship out the superstar receiver when speaking with reporters Thursday. DePodesta shot down rumors of a potential Beckham deal by flatly telling the media the team is not exploring trading Beckham.
"It's frustrating a little bit," DePodesta said of the speculation surrounding an OBJ trade, per ESPN. "I think it's pretty clear we're trying to build at this point. We're really building around a core of players that we think have a chance to be a championship-caliber core, and the idea that we would take away from that core at this moment just doesn't make a whole lot of sense and really [is] not something we're exploring at all."
WFAN 660's Marc Malusis reported Wednesday the Browns were in discussions with the Minnesota Vikings about a trade that would send Beckham to Minneapolis in exchange for 2021 second- and fifth-round picks.
The Browns acquired the receiver in a blockbuster deal last year, but his first season was fraught with frustration and a mix of season-long injuries through which he was playing. As the season fell apart under coach Freddie Kitchens, both Beckham and teammate Jarvis Landry became increasingly demonstrative in their displeasure during sideline interactions with Kitchens, who was fired following the conclusion of the regular season after just one year at the helm.
Cleveland has since hired former Vikings offensive coordiantor Kevin Stefanski as its head coach and replaced general manager John Dorsey with 33-year-old Andrew Berry. The Browns were quite active in free agency, signing tight end Austin Hooper and right tackle Jack Conklin among other potentially key contributors. Cleveland owns the No. 10 pick in next week's draft.