ODB's Interview With GQ

I can understand why Odell feels disrespected.

Jim Rome
July 22, 2019 - 11:38 am
Odell Beckham Jr.

USA Today

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It’s that time of year again – time for people to freak out about an interview that an NFL player has done during the offseason. And for today’s round, it’s Odell Beckham Jr, who did an interview with GQ and talked about being traded by the Giants. And Giants fans, if there are still any of you left, brace yourself.

In the conversation with Mark Anthony Green, Beckham was asked about the moment he was traded by New York and his response: “My initial reaction was not disappointment.… I felt disrespected.”

How’s that feel, Giants fans? How much more do you hate this guy now? Don’t answer.  Because there’s more where that came from. Much more. And if you’re looking for a reason to hate even more on him, you’re about to get it. Quote: “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.”

And there’s more: “I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive. 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. I felt disrespected they weren't even man enough to even sit me down to my face and tell me what's going on.

Giants’ fans, you may hate to hear that, you may even hate the guy. Just know this: the guy’s not wrong. People weren’t tuning in to see Eli, they were tuning in for Odell. He was keeping that brand alive.

And when asked about who “they” is, Beckham made it clear: “The G.M. And I’ll forever have respect for [Giants president and CEO] Mr. Mara. Everything he's ever done for me, he's shown nothing but love. Even when we were having our talks, it was coming from a place of love. I could always feel it. So I’ll forever have respect for him. But then to be called like that and then be texted by your coach and be like, “Oh, yeah, I heard the news.” Yeah, you heard the news? It happened because of you. The reason I'm gone is because of you. It was just tough because of the way I initially felt. On the other side of it, I was excited about a new start because I had been—honestly, I had been praying to God the season before this season for a change.”

There are a lot of different ways to go with this. First off, Beckham is in a better spot with a better team, a better quarterback, and a better organization. Yeah, I said a better organization.

Because look at the Browns in the last 12 months – they have a plan and a vision. The Giants signed Odell Beckham Jr to a new contract 11 months ago and then traded him. That’s not the sign of a great plan or vision.

But if he’s in a better situation, why does he feel disrespected? Simple. Anyone who gets traded feels disrespected. It’s never a compliment to be traded, even if you’re going to a better spot. It’s a sign that the team where you had been playing did not want you anymore, so of course that’s going to feel like disrespect.

Of course he was offended. And the reason it felt personal is because it was personal.    That’s a team telling one of its best players ever, in his prime, a year after they gave him a huge deal, we don’t want you. We don’t need you. We’re actually better without you.  Of course, he felt disrespected. Who wouldn’t? There hasn’t been a player in the history of the world, in any sport, who got traded and didn’t feel disrespected. That’s your team or your company saying, we don’t want you around. I have no issue with him saying it.  Even if he is in a better situation now than he was then. He knows that. And appreciates that. But it doesn’t change the bottom line: they gave up on him, shipped his ass out and decided they were better without him than they were with him. Of course he felt disrespected.

And Giants fans, I hate to bring up a painful subject and I really don’t want to rehash this trade again, but I guess we’re going to have to do it. Because I know you want to come in here with the argument that Odell was a distraction. And that’s a bad argument.

That was the spin that the Giants put out after the trade. A spin so obvious, and I hate to say I told you so, but I predicted it the day before it happened.

If you’ll recall, it was after the trade that according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, the move was "absolutely not a football decision” according to one source.

And then there’s this from a source: "He had become too much of a pain in the ass. And there was a real fear that eventually it would get worse."

Okay. Sure. Fine. Whatever. He was a pain in the ass. Then why did you sign him to a five-year deal just a few months earlier? When exactly did he become “too much of a pain in the ass”?

Was it when he had that bizarre thing with the field goal net? That was 2016.

Was it the fight with Josh Norman? That was 2015.

Was it the boat trip before the playoff game? That was 2017.

The contract extension was August 2018. The Giants saw all of those things and still decided to give him a big contract. And then trade him a few months later.

And yes, after that extension there was the Lil Wayne interview, but are you really trading the best wide receiver in team history because of one thing that he said in an interview with Lil Wayne? Seriously?

If you are a serious sports organization and you can’t handle the fallout from a receiver talking to Lil Wayne, that’s on you, not the receiver.

Trading Beckham didn’t make Eli any younger. And it didn’t make the eventual draft pick of Daniel Jones seem any smarter.

As Beckham told GQ: I felt like I had moved past my past. I really felt like: Why did we even sign this contract? What did we sign this for? That's what I felt during the season. Why did we do this deal to not feel long-term, because I don't feel like y'all are still wanting me to be here long-term during the season. I could feel it during the season. I would be up and down the sidelines saying that, like, “Why did you sign me?” I could've just not did this at all.

Odell felt like he had moved past his past. But I’m not sure the Giants had moved past his past or their past. Which is even stranger when you’ve signed him to a contract and paid him 21 mill, half the guaranteed money, in the first year and then traded him. Nice work everyone.

I can understand why Odell feels disrespected. Nobody wants to be traded and if you’re a competitor, that has to eat at you and fuel you. But the people who’ve really been disrespected here are Giants fans, who’ve just watched the best receiver in team history get traded and none of the explanations then or since have made sense. Believe me, he’s better off without you, but you’re not better off without him. No matter how many times you tell yourself you are.