When Odell Beckham Jr. was traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns in March, it’s safe to assume that some people felt shock, some disbelief and others happiness, especially Browns fans who picked up a player who’d been called one of the most skilled in the NFL.
But what did Beckham Jr. feel when he learned of the news? It’s something he talked about during an interview with GQ that was recently published.
“My initial reaction was not disappointment,” said the star wide receiver. “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.”
“I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive,” he added. “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,” said Beckham Jr.
The 26-year-old then blasted his former Giant coach Pat Shurmur, who he accused of being responsible for the trade. Beckham Jr. said he didn’t like that a personal conversation wasn’t had with him, and he was completely unhappy.
He even thought of retiring at one point, because not only were the Giants getting to him but professional football in general. Beckham Jr. suggested the business aspects of the game diminished some of the innocent love he had for it.
“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. The reason I’m gone is because of you,” explained the Louisiana native.
“It was just tough because of the way I initially felt,” he added. “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 … I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t in a good place.”
For the past few seasons, the Browns weren’t in a solid place either, so many of their fans expressed excitement about Beckham Jr. teaming with quarterback Baker Mayfield and his former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry. And now the Browns are one of the most buzzed about teams going into the preseason.
Since 2015, the Browns only won a total of 12 games and didn’t win any games at all during the 2017 season.