Odell Beckham Jr. is happy in Cleveland, where the former All-Pro receiver looks to continue racking up big numbers while helping the Browns capture their first division title in three decades, or at least he claims to be.
That doesn't mean that Beckham is done airing his grievances with the Giants, who traded him to Cleveland during the offseason. Beckham, during a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, said that the Giants, despite having other teams interested in trading for him, sent him to Cleveland in an attempt to derail his career.
"This wasn't no business move," Beckham said of the Giants' decision to trade him to the Brown. "This was personal. They thought they'd send me here to die."
Despite sustaining a recent hip injury that has held him out of several practices, Beckham has gained a quick rapport with his new quarterback, Baker Mayfield, who last year set the NFL record for touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback. Transparency, according to Beckham, is one of the reasons for his and Mayfield's quick chemistry. Beckham chuckled when asked earlier this month if he tells Mayfield where he likes the ball to be on passing routes.
"Just tell him to do what he does," he said. "There's a reason he was the first pick. There's a reason he won the Heisman. There's a reason he led Oklahoma to all those great seasons. I just let him tell me what he thinks I should do and I'm just gonna do that, and he's gonna put it where it needs to be."
While he was oftentimes portrayed as a selfish player in New York, Beckham has been lauded for his selflessness as well as for his tireless work ethic in Cleveland. Cleveland wideout coach Adam Henry, Beckham's longtime wide receivers coach, said that Beckham -- who was mostly the X receiver during his time in New York -- is thriving in all three receiving positions in Cleveland.
"He seems very comfortable," Henry recently told the Akron Beacon Journal. "He seems very relaxed being in Cleveland. The city of Cleveland really has embraced him, and so I just see him in a different place, where he's comfortable with the players, he's comfortable with Baker and Coach [Freddie] Kitchens."
Despite all the good reports coming out of Cleveland, Beckham continues to lament about what went wrong in New York. He has spoken at length about his displeasure in how the Giants utilized him within their offense. Beckham has also expressed his unhappiness in how the New York media covered him. Beckham has also said that, at some point, he was looked at more like a celebrity in New York and not as an athlete, something that he obviously didn't like during his final years with the Giants.
While we may never know their true motives for sending him to Cleveland, the fact is that the Giants did trade Beckham to the Browns, who are now favored to win the AFC North for the first time in franchise history. And while Beckham continues to talk about his former team, the Giants have chosen to instead focus on the players currently on their roster.
"We haven't talked a whole lot since everything happened," Manning said, per NJ.com. "I hope eventually this gets all put behind and we can enjoy the places where we are now and just laugh about this one day."