Although there was plenty of speculation this offseason suggesting that Odell Beckham might get traded, the former Giants receiver was still in shock when the deal between the Giants and Browns eventually went down on March 12.
In the three weeks since the trade, Beckham hasn't done any formal interviews with the media, but that finally changed on Monday when the Browns held his introductory press conference in Cleveland. After spending the first five seasons of his career in New York, Beckham admitted that the trade to Cleveland came as a total "shock."
"I would definitely say that it did. It's just a lot to process," Beckham said. "You start off in New York in your career and the next thing you know, I'm here (in Cleveland). I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be here. The past is in the past, it was definitely a shock. I think I've come to grips with everything and processed everything, because it was a lot. To see my guys here, I'm excited about this."
During his press conference, Beckham was flanked by three of his new teammates -- Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry and Myles Garrett -- who all definitely sounded glad to have him. Landry admitted that he "cried" after he found out the Browns were getting Beckham. Mayfield also had an emotional reaction.
"I just started screaming," the Browns quarterback said.
As for Beckham, his reaction was a little bit more subdued when he found about the trade from Giants general manager Dave Gettelman.
"I was heading to dinner and I remember just seeing Gettleman calling and I knew something was going down," Beckham said. "I pick up the phone, took the call and it was quiet for a minute at dinner. It just was a lot. I don't even know how to describe it. It was just a lot of emotions, a lot of thoughts that run through your mind. Your whole life is changing, it's still the same in theory, but it's changing. I called my mom. I called [Jarvis Landry]."
Landry and Beckham definitely seem excited to be reunited nearly six years after playing their final down together at LSU. The two even have their own Nike commercial made to celebrate their reunion.
Forever!! 🤞🏾 pic.twitter.com/M66UmSBaJC— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) April 1, 2019
"I feel like we spoke this into existence almost," Beckham said. "[Landry] and I dreamed of this. This is something we talked about at 17. I'm going to live right down the street from you, we're going to be on the same team. It's surreal."
Despite having one of his closest friends in Cleveland, Beckham admitted that he was also sad about leaving New York. In the hours after the trade went down, Giants running back Saquon Barkley talked to Beckham and said that the receiver wasn't "really happy about" being traded to Cleveland. Beckham cleared the air about that on Monday by pointing out that he was only sad to be leaving his former teammates.
"It's really the guys in the [Giants] locker room, it's the people that you go to war with and you wake up in training camp and you go through all those things with," Beckham said. "That's really what makes it so hard, but now I get an opportunity to meet new guys, make new friends, so it's very exciting."
The good news for everyone in Cleveland is that it sounds like Beckham will occasionally be around for the Browns' offseason workouts this year. No, the receiver didn't commit to attending all of the team's voluntary practices, but he did sound like he planned to show up at a few of them.
"I want to set the tone. I don't know exactly my offseason plans," Beckham said. "I usually train in [Los Angeles], but I definitely want to be able to be here and create that bond, that relationship with the new teammates, coaches, everybody, so you can kind of see who I am, exactly."
Although Beckham loves Los Angeles and has an offseason home there, he also made sure to point out that he's ready to embrace Cleveland.
"I'll have to check it out," Beckham said of Cleveland. "The city is definitely different, but at the end of the day, when you're in season, you just focus on playing ball. I'm sure it will be a little different, but you can make home anywhere."
Even with Beckham in Cleveland, the Browns didn't have perfect attendance at their first day of voluntary workouts. Running back Duke Johnson and defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah were both absent from Monday's session.