Eli Manning fires back at Odell Beckham Jr. over Giants comments: 'I won a few games before he was here'

If you're new to following the NFL this season, you'd be forgiven if you think the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants are rivals.

Big names from both teams have traded barbs in the lead-up to the 2019 campaign, mostly because star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was sent from the Giants to the Browns. And that trend continued this week, thanks to new comments from Beckham -- and a counterattack from the wideout's old quarterback, Eli Manning.

Beckham, who has Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield squarely in his corner, suggested in a recent interview with GQ that he was the "main reason" the Giants continued to get primetime coverage despite New York missing the playoffs in four of his five seasons there.

"I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive," the Pro Bowler said. "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."

Informed of Beckham's comments Thursday, Manning downplayed Odell's star power on NFL Network.

"I don't think they bothered me," he said of Beckham's boasts. "You just kind of shake your head and laugh... I won a few games before he was here."

Ouch. Manning does his best to sidestep the issue with an actual smile during his full interview on NFL Network, but it's not as if Beckham was completely out of line, either. For one, Eli hasn't necessarily been the most reliable option under center since even before Beckham arrived, and -- arrogant or not -- few people aside from Saquon Barkley gave anyone reason to watch the recent iterations of the Giants more than OBJ. Even so, it doesn't seem like this "rivalry" is ending anytime soon.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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