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Giants’ John Mara says it won’t “be easy” watching Odell Beckham Jr. with the Browns

New York Giants owner John Mara spoke at the NFL Owners Meetings this week, making his first comments to the press since the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. While Mara insisted the team was moving forward, he also sounded a bit nostalgic and torn about the ordeal.

Mara said he didn’t believe the team would actually trade Beckham right until the day it happened. He also said one of his grandchildren hasn’t spoken to him since he gave his “reluctant approval” for the deal. When asked what it’ll be like watching Beckham play for the Browns, Mara said, “It’s not going to be easy, I won’t lie to you,” according to Paul Schwartz of The New York Post.

The Giants reportedly shopped Beckham last offseason, but opted to hang onto him. They then signed him a to a record-breaking extension, but he ended up playing just one year of that deal. His off-field antics again frustrated the team, as shown when he publicly questioned the coaching staff’s play-calling as well as Eli Manning’s ability.

But even after all that, it still felt hard to believe the Giants would trade him. Mara apparently never thought it would happen. In his comments he sounded a bit forlorn, and clearly wasn’t gung-ho about shipping his former star receiver.

It’ll be a long time before we’re able to sort out who won the trade, but it was a franchise-altering decision by general manager Dave Gettleman. It’s one of the most significant trades in recent NFL history, and could define the near-term futures of both the Browns and Giants.