During a wide-ranging interview with GQ, former Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. ripped into his former team yet again, seemingly placing most of the blame for the bad blood on GM Dave Gettleman.
"My initial reaction was not disappointment.… I felt disrespected," Beckham said about the exact moment he found out he was traded to the Browns -- adding that he didn't care what the Giants got back. "Like, after everything I've done for them. This is me being honest..."
Pressed further on who specifically disrespected him, Beckham said it was Gettleman -- while at the same time showing love to John Mara.
"The G.M," Beckham said about who was in the wrong. "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."
Beckham also laid some blame at the feet of head coach Pat Shurmur, suggesting he didn't want him on the team.
Some time after "praying to God" for a change, Beckham decided he didn't want a change -- or that he would at least take the Giants' massive extension. But he wasn't as happy during that moment as he is now, telling GQ "I'm happier than I've ever been. I've never been at this place. And it's because of the trials and tribulations, it's because of the mistakes, it's because of the failures, the successes. Everything that has got me to this point."
So why does Beckham think the Giants traded him?
"They could never get past my past," he said. "There's always that past that whatever happened, I would never be able to outgrow it. That's why I don't try to bring none of this to Cleveland. I don't even care. When I get there, this is a fresh start for me."
While they had Beckham, the Giants made the playoffs just once. And during that appearance -- against the Packers in Green Bay -- Beckham had a terrible game and punched a hole in the wall inside Lambeau Field afterwards.
Despite that playoff appearance, Beckham said "This team has not been good for the last six years. Period."
And he defended his performance in the playoff game, mentioning the low number of targets he received -- and spiraling that comment into a claim that he was keeping the Giants' brand alive.
"Don't get me wrong, I had a terrible game," Beckham said. "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 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."
While Beckham took aim at Gettleman, he also spoke about his love for the New York fans, and said that he loved the pressure he felt while playing in the city.
"I forever will have love for the New York fans," he said. "They gave me my first home. But there's this sense of entitlement-like I was made there. And in my head, that was the first place I had the opportunity to show the world what God had set out for me to do. It didn't matter where I was at. Now, did it help that it was Sunday Night Football for the New York Giants versus the Dallas Cowboys? One thousand percent. But The Catch happened around the entire world. I feel like it wouldn't matter where I was at-once you got hooked onto who I was and what I was doing. And who knows? If I was in another place, you don't know if the numbers would've been more or less."
As Beckham embarks on his first season with the Browns, Giants fans (who were recently targeted by Browns QB Baker Mayfield) will mostly continue to shake their heads over the fact that Beckham is elsewhere. And Gettleman will continue to oversee a team that is hoping to contend this season despite getting rid of its best player.