Odell Beckham says he felt disrespected when Giants traded him, explains why he skipped Browns OTAs
Beckham said he 'wasn't in a good place' in New York
Odell Beckham Jr. has a new team and is poised for a bounce-back season in Cleveland after playing in only 16 games the last two years in New York. He has the full backing of his new quarterback, Baker Mayfield, who played a big part in the Browns' 5-2 finish to 2018.
"He's here to work," Mayfield said last week of Beckham. "And he wants to be surrounded by people who love him and support him and allow him to be himself. He's here to play in front of fans who actually care, who will actually show up to every game and pack the stadium and love him for who he is."
On Monday, Beckham spoke for himself in an extensive interview with GQ where he touched on everything from being traded to whether he's a good teammate. Here are some of those excerpts from the full interview, which you can read in its entirety here.
Is Beckham a good teammate?
You can literally ask any one of my teammates. My on-the-field football never gets talked about unless people are talking about antics. They don't talk about numbers. Where's the reel at? People only want to focus on one thing. I feel like I'm one of the only people in the NFL where my personal life and my brand are the only things that get talked about. They'll do a whole segment about the car that I have on ESPN. Why? I've never been arrested. Never have and never will be putting my hands on a woman. I've never done any crimes. I've never done anything but some little petty, dumb stuff that we keep harping on.
Why did he skip OTAs?
They asked, how could I have changed if I didn't go to OTAs? I have to be the very best me to help my team. We don't get paid to be at OTAs. If you want players to be there, make it mandatory and pay them. I got traded to a new team, I already paid to live here in L.A. for the entire summer. Are the Giants or Cleveland going to reimburse me for what I've already paid? Are they going to reimburse my trainers, who I've already paid? Are they going to reimburse me for the dogs who I've had to put in kennels? There's a lot of expenses. Are they going to pay for the rehab I was doing? No. They don't do all of that.
That stuff is all on our own. So when it gets time for us to have our own life outside of football, they say something. When the game is done with you, they chew you up, spit you out. You're done. You're done. I have to take care of myself and my family. Period. I talk to everybody in the locker room. When someone gives me free stuff, I ask them to send a hundred of them for my teammates. A hundred Sprayground bags… They put them in the locker room. I asked for them to send me Casper mattresses. They sent me 100 Casper mattresses for the staff and the team.
Beckham said he was in Paris when he found out the Giants had traded him. How did he feel in that moment?
My initial reaction was not disappointment.… I felt disrespected. Like, after everything I've done for them. This is me being honest: This team has not been good for the last six years. Period. Even the year we went to the playoffs and everyone was talking about this and that. And we went there, and I didn't have a great playoff game. Don't get me wrong, I had a terrible game. But I left the game with seven targets, and I'm supposed to be your number one receiver. I left the game with seven targets. We lost. They scored 40 points. It's just all bad.
I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive. They were getting primetime games, still, as a 5-11 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 primetime games. I felt disrespected they weren't even man enough to even sit me down to my face and tell me what's going on.
Beckham added: "I can't do this anymore. I just can't do it. I wasn't happy. I wasn't in a good place. And like I told you earlier, I feel like everything is about happiness, and I just was not."
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