Von Miller calls Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. ‘The new LeBron’
A month after the stunning trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns, the wide receiver’s reaction is still a hot topic of conversation.
“He was hurt,” Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, a friend of Beckham’s, told the NFL Network (via Pro Football Talk). “He was hurt initially. He loved New York, he loved his teammates, he loved the team. Whenever you get hit with something like that, you’re going to be hurt. You’re going to feel some type of disappointment with that. But immediately after that he was excited for his new opportunity. You saw his new teammates on Twitter and Instagram. They love him as well. The whole city of Cleveland is excited. He’s the new LeBron there, so he’s excited about that. He’s going to be ready to go.”
The trade, which became official March 14, sent the Giants’ most popular and talented player to the Browns for safety Jabrill Peppers and Cleveland’s first- and third-round picks in the April 25 NFL Draft. For his part, Beckham has been enthused, at least publicly, about a move that he admitted came as a shock.
“You start off in New York in your career, and next thing you know, I’m here today, but I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be here,” he said in a news conference last week as he and the Browns began offseason workouts. “Kind of the past is in the past. It was definitely a shock. I think I’ve come to grips with everything and processed everything, as it was a lot, but to see my guy (wide receiver Jarvis Landry), guys here, I’m excited about this.”
Beckham, 26, caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games.
“I was heading to dinner, and I remember just seeing (Giants General Manager Dave) Gettleman calling and I knew something was going down. I picked up the phone, and I took the call,” he said. “All right. It was quiet for a minute at dinner. It just was a lot. I don’t even know how else to describe it, but it’s just a lot, a lot of emotions, a lot of thoughts that run through your mind. Your whole life’s changing. It’s still the same, in theory, but it’s changing, so I just took it to process. I think I called my mom, called this man Jarvis and here we are today.”
Beckham’s new quarterback, Baker Mayfield, stood up for him Friday, replying to a report by Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd that Beckham wasn’t happy.
“Come to Cleveland and ask O if he actually likes it,” Mayfield tweeted Friday evening after Cowherd went off on the Browns on his show, The Herd. “Just because you say you have a source doesn’t mean you’re not full of BS. And while you’re at it… come see if I’m a baby…”
Evidently, this all could have been avoided had Gettleman checked to see if the San Francisco 49ers would increase their offer for Beckham after the Browns’ bid or determine if any other team had a sweeter offer.
The 49ers, ESPN reports, were stunned, and the Niners “would have been willing to offer more for a wide receiver of Beckham’s stature.”
It didn’t happen, and now Beckham is tasked with being Cleveland’s new LeBron.
“He’s a human being,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said of Beckham’s emotions after the trade. “He has feelings. He’s not just some cartoon character who kind of pops up in the media. Two weeks ago, his life was turned upside down. He didn’t know he was getting traded. He had to take some time to see what life was going to be like now, post-New York.”