Odell Beckham Jr. believes the Giants’ decision to trade him to the Browns during the offseason was “personal.”
“This wasn’t no business move,” Beckham said in a wide-ranging piece by Sports Illustrated published Tuesday. “They thought they’d send me here to die.”
Beckham opened up about the move, explaining that he got a call from Giants general manager Dave Gettleman when he was going to a restaurant in Paris and knew Gettleman was going to tell him he was being traded. Beckham said the conversation lasted just seconds.
Beckham also claims that the Giants, who got right guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers, Cleveland’s 2019 first-round pick (No. 17 overall) and a 2019 third-round pick (No. 95 overall) in return for Beckham and Olivier Vernon, “received better offers and still chose to send him to Cleveland, out of spite, hoping to stain his career with the enduring stigma that comes with playing for the Browns.” Beckham said he was never asked about his preferred trade destinations.
Even though the Browns finished with a 1-15 record in 2016 and 0-16 in 2017, Cleveland bounced back to end last year 7-8-1 after the team fired coach Hue Jackson midseason. Now, Freddie Kitchens is at the helm and Beckham believes he will work well under his new coach and alongside quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has already shown support for the receiver and defended him against criticism.
“I’ve never had that before,” he said.
Beckham also addressed his old quarterback Eli Manning, saying they were “cool” but not friends. He described their relationship as teammates who didn’t “hang out outside” of football. He did rip into the Giants’ offense briefly as he said the coaches tended to only feature him on third downs and the schemes never played into his abilities.
The Giants are “stuck in an older mindset,” Beckham said, but clarified that he’s not taking any “shots — just speaking facts.”
Beckham will have to wait until 2020 to play his former team as the two are set to play against each other at MetLife Stadium.