While they might not meet on the field this season, there may be a serious cross-divisional rivalry brewing between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns.
The 2019 Browns have a lot more swagger, personality, and hope than years past, thanks to star quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ off-season acquisition of WR Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants. Together, their on-field talent combination is the main cause of the massive pre-season hype surrounding the Browns organization.
Off the field, Mayfield and Beckham have never been afraid to speak their minds, and lucky for NFL fans, this week is no different. Their new target: The New York Giants.
In a recent GQ article, Mayfield remarked, “I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones. . .blows my mind.” The Giants selected Duke QB Daniel Jones sixth overall in the draft, much to the dismay of Giants fans. Jones’ draft stock rose seemingly out of nowhere in the days leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft, his high selection taking place despite a meager 17-19 college record.
Speaking on how a pick like Jones’ gets made, Mayfield said, “Some people overthink it, that’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.” Seeking to clarify those comments after initial media coverage, Mayfield said via Instagram Tuesday afternoon that he’s “heard nothing but good things and wishes nothing but the best” for Jones.
As Mayfield’s comments made headlines on Tuesday morning, inflammatory comments
from OBJ on his trade from the Giants to the Browns began circulating as well. In a new Sports Illustrated profile, Beckham said of his trade, “This wasn’t no business move, this was personal. They thought they’d send me [to Cleveland] to die.” According to Beckham, the Giants never worked with him on preferred trade destinations, which is abnormal treatment for a player of his caliber and value.
Beckham also claimed that the Giants had received better trade offers than Cleveland’s, but chose to send him to the Browns anyway to intentionally derail his career. With verbal jabs like these being thrown around, a Browns vs. Giants showdown this season would have been must-watch TV. But, barring the NFL sky falling and making a Browns/Giants playoff game possible, the teams are highly unlikely to meet this season.
There is, however, some hope for a showdown within the next NFL season. The Browns and Giants have faced off once every four years since 2000. If this scheduling trend continues, we could see Mayfield vs. Jones in a 2020 regular season game that’s sure to come with some fireworks.
Written by Justin Feist