Giants’ Sterling Shepard Speaks On Odell Beckham Jr.

Getty Former New York Giants teammates Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.

When the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns manifested this offseason just a year after he signed the richest wide receiver contract in history it left many in shock.

Among those were Sterling Shepard, OBJ’s old buddy who now moves into the No. 1 wide receiver role with the Giants.

Shepard signed a four-year, $41 million contract extension this offseason, as reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

“It’s actually pretty crazy. I’m used to having my boy Odell with me,” Shepard said in an interview with The Post Game. “It put me in the position where I’m the No. 1 guy now. That’s what they wanted me to be. To be that leader and they trusted I could do so.”

Shepard also mentions he’s not too worried about his new role with Beckham having missed a combined 16 games the last two seasons.

The Giants star previously spoke about what life has been like since Beckham moved on and the impression he left behind.

“That’s always going to be my brother, to the end of it,” Shepard said. “He’s a great guy. He’s loved around this facility.”

Shepard has been good, but not great in his three-year career so far, but has shown progression each season. Last year he collected career-highs in targets (107) and catches (66) and yards (872). He also caught four touchdowns.

When Shepard got paid in the offseason, Beckham was one of the first to congratulate the Oklahoma product.

“Lil bruh since the day u walked into that building yu gave me life, picked me up when I was down, humbled me when I was in the wrong, shown me nothin but love slime,” Beckham wrote in an Instagram post. “NO MATTER the colors, U will forever be my brother!”

 

Former New York Giants teammates Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley.

Saquon Barkley Responds To Odell Beckham Jr.’s Shot at Eli Manning

Shepard’s comments are not the first time the Giants have spoken on their former star.

Earlier this offseason, in what many took as a veiled shot at Eli Manning, OBJ noted that catching balls from Baker Mayfield was a entirely different experience for him.

“I’m going to have to get adjusted to the speed because he has an arm,” Beckham told reporters. “He’s throwing that ball hard. Just catching him from the first day, it was like, ‘Wow! This is completely different.’ It just takes time.”

It made sense that Beckham might have lingering frustrations from his time in New York. His issues were well documented and linked to an aging Manning, whose diminished skill set limited what Beckham could do on the field.

GettyCleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

“Like I said, I feel like he’s not going to get out the pocket. He’s not — we know Eli’s not running it,” he said in an interview with ESPN last season. “But is it a matter of time issue? Can he still throw it, yeah, but it’s been pretty safe and it’s been, you know, cool catching shallow and trying to take it to the house. But I’m, you know, I want to go over the top of somebody.”

Giants running back Saquon Barkley was asked about what he thought of Beckham’s comments this week.

“I saw his comments. I don’t think Odell was making a shot at Eli or anybody,” Barkley told SNY’s Jonas Schwartz. “You have to get used to a new quarterback.”

Barkley also added that the current crop of Giants are getting sick of answering questions about someone no longer team, or even in the conference.

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