New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers was ecstatic to learn the Cleveland Browns acquired Odell Beckham Jr. prior to the 2019 campaign. Until he found out he was in the trade, that is.
Peppers revealed his reaction to learning he was part of the return package the Giants were getting in exchange for the Pro Bowl wide receiver.
The former Michigan star said the initial response was “Oh s–t” upon hearing the news, though he is glad with how the deal has played out in the last couple years (via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post).
This is AWESOME: #Giants Jabrill Peppers said he first heard about #Browns trading for Odell Beckham on Twitter. His reaction was "Hell yeah, we just got Odell." THen he was like, "Oh sh–" when he realized he was the trade return. He's thrilled with how his homecoming worked out
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) December 18, 2020
The 25-year-old has been a huge part of New York’s secondary this season.
Peppers has 74 combined tackles (including eight for a loss), 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble from the strong safety spot. He also has recorded 10 passes defended in coverage while acting as a punt returner from time to time.
It is that kind of diverse skill set that made Peppers a first-round pick in 2017, when the Browns selected him 25th overall. Although Peppers generated mostly mixed results in Cleveland, he has settled in as a Giant.
Peppers will be the only member of the trade on the field Sunday night. Beckham is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered earlier in the season. Still, the stakes could not be higher.
New York trails the Washington Football Team by one game in the NFC East. The Giants hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Washington after sweeping both regular-season matchups, but could have a tough time keeping pace against a 9-4 Browns team coming off an explosive offensive performance against the Baltimore Ravens.
The onus will be on Peppers and Co. to keep Cleveland’s offense in check.