Odell Beckham Jr.: I Couldn't 'Reach My Full Potential' with Giants

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) runs a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Berea, Ohio, Thursday, June 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. believes going from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns is a move that will finally allow him to reach his full potential in the NFL.

In an interview with Jacob Davey of Complex, Beckham revealed that he didn't think remaining with the Giants would have allowed him to blossom into the player most expect him to be:

"I can't wait to get going. I just felt with the Giants I was just stuck at a place that wasn't working for me anymore. I felt like I wasn't going to be able to reach my full potential there; mentally, physically, spiritually, everything I felt capable of doing, I just couldn't see it happening there. So I think allowing me to be in an environment where I can be myself and give it a different approach, I feel like my football will benefit. I'm just excited about being able to play football again and not have to deal with all the other stuff and politics that came with my previous role."

After spending the first five years of his career with the Giants, OBJ was traded to Cleveland this offseason for a first-round pick, a third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers.

After New York selected him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft out of LSU, Beckham registered at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three NFL seasons.

An ankle injury cost Beckham all but four games in 2017, but he bounced back to appear in 12 games last season. Even though he missed four contests, Beckham still finished with 77 grabs for 1,052 yards and six scores while also throwing for two touchdowns on trick plays.

While Beckham was always productive, he often made headlines for other reasons. Beckham's sideline tantrums were heavily covered, and he made no shortage of controversial comments to the media as well.

Specifically, Beckham did little to stand up for quarterback Eli Manning during an interview with ESPN last season in which he was asked if Manning was to blame for the Giants' offensive struggles: 

"I don't know. Like I said, I feel like he's not going to get out the pocket. He's not -- we know Eli's not running it. But is it a matter of time issue? Can he still throw it, yeah, but it's been pretty safe and it's been, you know ... cool catching shallow [routes] and trying to take it to the house. But I'm, you know, I want to go over the top of somebody."

Manning is poised to start for the Giants this season, but they selected quarterback Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft to be his successor.

In Cleveland, Beckham will catch passes for 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, who turned in a highly productive rookie season with a 6-7 record, 3,725 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

With Beckham, Mayfield, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on offense, the Browns may be on the verge of building an offensive juggernaut, and OBJ clearly feels he is now better positioned to reach and maintain elite receiver status.