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'I saw the calls and was like, 'Wow, I wonder where I'm going' - Beckham slams Giants for handling of trade

Odell Beckham Jr says he was kept in the dark about his trade from New York to Cleveland.

Odell Beckham warms up prior to the Giants' game at the Eagles last November.
Odell Beckham warms up prior to the Giants' game at the Eagles last November.
Image: UPI/PA Images

STAR NFL RECEIVER Odell Beckham Jr has lifted the lid on his trade from the Giants to the Cleveland Browns, and slammed the New York organisation for their treatment of him even long in advance of his departure from MetLife Stadium.

Beckham, 26, revealed in the cover interview of next month’s GQ magazine that he had grown unhappy at the Giants to the point that he prayed to God for a change the season before last, and that he considered retirement two years ago having grown disillusioned with all the baggage that comes with his sport.

He also questioned why the Giants signed him to a five-year, megabuck contract as recently as August of 2018 only to trade him less than a year later.

Asked by GQ’s Mark Anthony Green where he was when he received the news that he was to be traded in March, Beckham said:

“I was in Paris heading to dinner. I saw the calls and was like, ‘Wow, I wonder where I’m going.’ They had been talking about trading me. They could never get past my past. There’s always that past that whatever happened, I would never be able to outgrow it. That’s why I don’t try to bring none of this to Cleveland. I don’t even care. When I get there, this is a fresh start for me.

“My initial reaction was not disappointment… I felt disrespected. Like, after everything I’ve done for them. This is me being honest: This team has not been good for the last six years. Period. Even the year we went to the playoffs and everyone was talking about this and that. And we went there, and I didn’t have a great playoff game. Don’t get me wrong, I had a terrible game. But I left the game with seven targets, and I’m supposed to be your number-one receiver. I left the game with seven targets. We lost. They scored 40 points. It’s just all bad.

I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive. They were getting prime-time games, still, as a 5-and-11 team. Why? Because people want to see the show. You want to see me play. That’s just real rap. I’m not sitting here like, ‘It’s because of me.’ But let’s just be real. That’s why we’re still getting prime-time games. I felt disrespected they weren’t even man enough to even sit me down to my face and tell me what’s going on.

Beckham confirmed that the ‘they’ to whom he refers were Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur, but added that he’ll “forever have respect” for Giants president and CEO John Mara. “Everything he’s ever done for me, he’s shown nothing but love,” Beckham said. “Even when we were having our talks, it was coming from a place of love. I could always feel it. So I’ll forever have respect for him.

But then to be called like that and then be texted by your coach and [for him to] be like, ‘Oh, yeah, I heard the news.’ Yeah, you heard the news? It happened because of you. The reason I’m gone is because of you. It was just tough because of the way I initially felt. On the other side of it, I was excited about a new start because I had been — honestly, I had been praying to God the season before this season for a change.

NFL: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers Beckham will play for Cleveland in 2019. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

“‘I can’t do this anymore,’ said Beckham of how he felt towards the end of his Big Blue career. “I just can’t do it. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t in a good place. And like I told you earlier, I feel like everything is about happiness, and I just was not.

I really felt like: Why did we even sign this [five-year] contract? What did we sign this for? That’s what I felt during the season. Why did we do this deal to not feel long-term, because I don’t feel like y’all are still wanting me to be here long-term during the season. I could feel it during the season. I would be up and down the sidelines saying that, like, ‘Why did you sign me?’ I could’ve just not did this at all.

The record-breaking wideout confirmed he will “forever have love for the New York fans”, explaining that “they gave me my first home.

But he also bemaoned a perceived “sense of entitlement” among G-Men supporters, “like I was made there.

“And in my head, that was the first place I had the opportunity to show the world what God had set out for me to do,” he continued. “It didn’t matter where I was at. Now, did it help that it was Sunday Night Football for the New York Giants versus the Dallas Cowboys? One thousand percent. But ‘The Catch’ happened around the entire world. I feel like it wouldn’t matter where I was at once you got hooked onto who I was and what I was doing. And who knows? If I was in another place, you don’t know if the numbers would’ve been more or less.”

You can read Beckham’s full GQ interview here.

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