It’s been 4 1/2 months since the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, and the story isn’t over yet.
Part of that is because Beckham and others keep it alive. And thriving. The latest can of Red Bull injected into the veins of the saga comes from Beckham’s interview with GQ, which hit the Internet on Monday (just as NFL players are reporting to training camps). In the article, Beckham says he was the only reason the rest of the world found the Giants interesting the past few years, that he felt “disrespected” by the way he was dealt to another team (even though he prayed for it), and that coach Pat Shurmur was the “reason” he was traded.
"My initial reaction was not disappointment . . . I felt disrespected," Beckham said of his immediate feelings upon being told he was traded. "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."
Beckham went on to say that he was "a main reason at keeping that [Giants] 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."
As for Shurmur, Beckham said he received a text from him shortly after general manager Dave Gettleman called him with the news.
“[To] be called like that and then be texted by your coach and be like 'Oh, yeah, I heard the news.' Yeah, you heard the news? It happened because of you," Beckham said. "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."
Beckham did say he has respect for Giants co-owner John Mara. So that’s something. But he also suggested that he was considering retirement rather than continuing to play for the Giants during his five-year tenure with the team.
"Not many people know, but I used to talk to my mama and I'd be like, 'Ma, if I was done doing this now, would you still be proud of me?' To love something so much to a place where it is my everything, and to watch it be tainted, or all kinds of things be in the middle of it. Like, it hurt me to my soul."
Beckham did sign a five-year contract for $90 million or so just last August. Even that, however, did not soothe his feelings toward the Giants.
"I just can't do it," he said. "I wasn't happy. I wasn't in a good place."