Mara: “I think, ultimately, if we make the right decisions we will be better off in the long run”
New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch admitted Sunday at the NFL owners’ meetings that trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns had been difficult. Mara said he gave “reluctant approval” and Tisch called the decision “one of the toughest we have had to make in a long time. Many, many years.”
Per the team’s official website, here is how the owners described the process of making the decision.
“My communication to Dave was that, and obviously he knew this, but we aren’t giving him away,” Mara said. “If there is an offer that we all think will improve the team in the long run, then we will consider doing it. … I told him to call Steve first and then he called me back. Even then, I told him that I needed some more time to think about it. I drove home from the office, talked to him on the phone that evening and ultimately approved it.
“I will tell you that it was a reluctant approval on my part because I happen to like Odell very much. I recognize the unique talent that he has. It is not easy to trade that player to another team. I understand also that we have a lot of holes that we need to fill. If we make the right decisions with the first pick and the third pick, we obviously like Jabrill Peppers a lot which filled a need for us. I ultimately gave my 50 percent share of the approval.
Tisch said, “This was not a decision that was made quickly without a lot of thought and a lot of conversation discussing with both Dave and Pat (Shurmur, the head coach) and the impact, what it would mean to the club. It is a tough decision. One of the toughest we have had to make in a long time. Many, many years.”
Mara went further, discussing how difficult it will be to watch Beckham play in Cleveland.
“It is not going to be easy, I am not going to lie to you,” Mara said. “It won’t be easy. He is a great player and I hope he has a great career with the Browns. It makes it a little bit easier that he is not in our conference. None of this was easy. The toughest call I had to make was to two of my grandsons telling them that we were trading their favorite player. Both of them sobbed uncontrollably on the phone. One of them is speaking to me now and the other is still not sure. I say it half-kiddingly, but it was not an easy decision. I have strong feelings about Odell, too. I thought we had a really good relationship. I am going to miss seeing him around. You can’t let sentiment get in the way. I think, ultimately, if we make the right decisions we will be better off in the long run.”
— NFL Podcasts (@NFL_Podcasts) March 25, 2019
Mara: Losing Landon Collins “killed me”
The Giants’ co-owner also said letting Collins leave in free agency “hurt me greatly,” but said the Giants were “unwilling to live with” what it was going to take to sign him. Collins ended up joining the Washington Redskins on the biggest contract ever given to a safety, a six-year, $84 million deal.
“It basically comes down to, just like any other player, putting a value on it. Here was where the numbers were going to end up for him. Do we want to spend it here or do we want to spend it elsewhere? It was a difficult decision but ultimately the numbers that he was going to be able to achieve in free agency was not something we were willing to go. It killed me to see him go. I know he wanted to be a Giant and wanted to be here. He was homegrown. It meant a lot to him. You have to make tough decisions and remove sentiment.”
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