Odell Beckham Jr.: Giants Thought 'They'd Send Me Here to Die' with Browns Trade

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 17: Odell Beckham #13 of the Cleveland Browns is seen during the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. believes the New York Giants traded him to the Cleveland Browns this season in an effort to hurt his career.

"This wasn't no business move," Beckham told Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated. "This was personal. They thought they'd send me here to die."

Baskin wrote that Beckham "claims to know that the Giants received better offers and still chose to send him to Cleveland, out of spite, hoping to stain his career with the enduring stigma that comes with playing for the Browns."

Beckham also said he felt stifled in New York, between the intense media environment and the Giants organization.

"They built something that they now wanted to control, and there is no need to try to control it," he said.

Beckham, who has been critical of former teammate Eli Manning in the past, didn't go there with Baskins, saying he and Manning were "cool" but weren't friends and didn't "hang out outside" of team activities. He was critical of the team's offense, though:

"He laments, however, that coaches tended to feature him only on third downs, that the offense never schemed for his abilities, that he ran slants so frequently that defenders would call out his routes presnap. The Giants are 'stuck in an older mindset,' Beckham says. Then he clarifies: He's not trying to take 'shots—just speaking facts.'"

In Cleveland, meanwhile, expectations are sky high. Beckham's addition, alongside the presence of Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (upon his return from suspension) has left the Browns with one of the NFL's most dynamic offenses, at least on paper.

The 26-year-old Beckham is one of the most effective offensive weapons in the NFL. In 59 career games he's caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. Over a 16-game season, those numbers translate to an average of 105 receptions for 1,485 yards and 11 scores. 

Those are elite numbers, though injuries have limited Beckham to just 16 games over the past two seasons. And Beckham's fiery personality at times became a focal point during his tenure in New York, so he isn't without his question marks. 

But if he clicks with Mayfield and the Browns live up to expectations, he certainly won't toil in obscurity in Cleveland, perhaps to the chagrin of the Giants.