As the New York Giants look to talk themselves into life without Odell Beckham Jr., the Cleveland Browns and his new quarterback, Baker Mayfield, can’t wait to get him into the locker room. During Beckham’s introductory press conference, Mayfield told the press:
“As you can imagine, pretty excited,’’ said the Browns quarterback, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “It was one of those things that, like O said, it’s one of those things you can’t put into words to describe it correctly. I had two people at the house sitting there when I found out. I just started screaming, just yelling like you would have thought I was on the field on game day, just excited.”
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman took to the podium on Feb. 27 to address the rumors swirling around Beckham, whom the Giants signed to a five-year, $90 million extension in August 2018:
“We didn’t sign Odell to trade him,” Gettleman said. “That’s all I need to say about that.”
Less than two weeks later, Beckham was on his way to the Browns for first- and third-round picks and safety Jabrill Peppers. Since drafting him, whenever they had to go without OBJ, the Giants went 6-15 (.285). Their defense was slightly worse, allowing 24.8 points per game, but their offense shut down and scored a mere 18.5 points per contest.
Claims that he was a distraction trickled out as New York dealt with a revolting fan base, but Cleveland apparently sees no issue:
“It’s the potential,” said Mayfield. “It’s knowing exactly who he is and knowing what type of guy he is. His play and his ability speaks for itself with him, but the things that we talked about all throughout last year of what we need, the types of guys we need in this locker room to go in the right direction, that’s the best thing about that. He’s a team guy and he’s going to be a great presence for us in this locker room.’’
Beckham and the Browns are expected to be big players in the AFC next season.