Two former Giants stars bid their adieu to the team and their fans on Thursday. Odell Beckham Jr. said goodbye in an Instagram post, expressing his appreciation. Landon Collins said he can’t wait to face his former team and prove to them what they are missing by not keeping him.
“It’s definitely circled on my schedule because at the end of the day, you always want to show a team why you should’ve kept a player,” Collins said of the Giants games (the dates for which are not yet scheduled) at his introductory news conference after signing with the Redskins. “It’s always something that pushes a player even more. It’s going to be a great opportunity to just play against them and showcase them why they should have re-signed me.”
Collins later told NFL Network that he wants to “prove the point that they should have at least tagged me.”
A week ago, though, that was something Collins was hoping to avoid. The Giants could have kept Collins for $11.2 million in 2019 by using the franchise tag. He and his camp suggested he would be unhappy with that scenario and perhaps even boycott the team’s offseason and preseason practices because of it. The price tag was too high for the Giants anyway, and they let him walk into a six-year, $84 million deal in Washington with $45 million guaranteed.
Beckham — who was traded to the Browns along with linebacker Olivier Vernon in exchange for safety Jabrill Peppers, guard Kevin Zeitler and two draft picks — has yet to speak publicly. He did post on Instagram on Thursday morning, saying he has “so many mixed emotions” and “a lot to process” regarding the deal.
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So many mixed emotions and feelings. This is all, a lot to process but it is reality. I don’t kno exactly what to say so just gotta keep it real and short. I want to thank the NY giants organization for giving me an opportunity to do what God put me on this earth to do , I want to thank the organization and the owners for everything and especially giving me my first chance to be a part of the NFL. I want thank everyone in that building from the kitchen staff to my main man Jośe! I loved you guys dearly and always will. I gave u my all every Sunday. To the fans, some happy , some not, I just wanna thank u guys for making my experience in NY SOMETHIN ILL NEVER FORGET! To the New Yorkers and REAL NYG fans... you guys will always have a place in my heart, a beautiful city .. a beautiful place Thank You for every last moment and experience. Without them, I wouldn’t be exactly who I am today ! LUV ❤️ ✊🏾
He thanks the Giants and the owners for giving him a first chance in the NFL, and thanked everyone in the organization from the cafeteria staff to the janitor. “I loved you guys dearly and I always will,” he wrote.
He seemed very aware, too, that there is a contingent of Giants fans who are not overcome with grief by his departure. “To the fans, some happy, some not, I just wanna thank u guys for making my experience in NY SOMETHIN ILL NEVER FORGET!” he wrote. “To the New Yorkers and REAL NYG fans . . . you guys will always have a place in my heart, a beautiful city . . . a beautiful place Thank You for every last moment and experience. Without them, I wouldn’t be exactly who I am today!”