Saquon Barkley was “sad to see” Odell Beckham Jr. leave the Giants.
In a surprising move, New York sent the star 26-year-old wide receiver to the Browns earlier this month in exchange for two drafts picks and safety Jabrill Peppers. Barkley, who is set to enter his second season as the Giants starting running back, discussed the trade during an interview with NJ Advance Media.
“I was sad to see him go,” Barkley said Tuesday. “But, hopefully he continues to have a great career there in Cleveland.”
Barkley said he spoke with Beckham shortly after the deal was announced.
“We talked over Facetime, he had just gotten traded, so I don’t think he was really happy about it,” Barkley said. “He just gave me some advice about how to handle stuff in the league. He was the same old big brother to me that he’s always been.”
Barkley rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 games for New York as a rookie last season. He also added four receiving scores.
“I have to grow as a leader more,” Barkley said. “Whether it’s being a vocal leader or leading by example, it’s a team effort. We have to have other players grow as leaders, continue to believe in each other.”
The Giants selected Barkley out of Penn State with the second pick in the 2018 draft.