By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady and Odell Beckham Jr. have been at the top of their profession for some time now, which has led to the occasional moment of mutual admiration (and/or professional flirtation) shared between them. On Wednesday, Beckham admitted that in years past, he was hoping that relationship could be taken to the next level.
“Two, three years ago, there was speculation that was going on and I was willing and ready to go over there at any point in time,” Beckham told reporters Wednesday, according to the Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich. “That was always a dream of mine to play for Tom Brady.”
#Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. said "of course" he has longing to play for dynasty like #Patriots: "Two, 3 years ago, there was speculation that was going on and I was willing and ready to go over there at any point in time. That was always a dream of mine to play for Tom Brady."
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) October 23, 2019
That dream, of course, didn’t ever materialize. After an extended period of will-they-or-won’t-they, the Giants signed Beckham to a massive contract extension in the summer of 2018. The team then shifted course and traded Beckham to Cleveland this past March.
So while the two are likely to never share abutting locker stalls, the Pro Bowl receiver gushed about Brady on Wednesday, in anticipation of their matchup this coming Sunday.
“Tom Brady’s the GOAT. I know we’ve done some goat cloning … . I think there’s something going on,” Beckham told reporters. “He’s not human to be playing the way he’s still playing. Mentally prepared every single game. Decisive decisions. Knows how to manage a game. Plays offense and defense with the way that he plays. He’s just very smart. He’s the best to ever do it. I don’t think anybody could really argue it. He’s just the greatest. I definitely want some of the water that he’s drinking.”
With praise like that, Beckham just might find himself being the recipient of a mystery present from Brady during the pregame on Sunday. Whether or not he gets a box packed with electrolyte packets remains to be seen, but Beckham won’t be showing up empty-handed:
#Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said he has a pair of goat hair cleats to give #Patriots quarterback Tom Brady before or after Sunday's game. OBJ also has a pair for himself. "But I’m gonna give them to him because he’s one of the GOATs, and he’s more the GOAT than I am."
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) October 22, 2019
Despite the clear admiration, Beckham made sure to state that he’s happy to be with the Browns.
#Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr: "Tom (Brady) and I talked for 2-3 years like 'hey man, if it happens, it happens. And it'd be cool', but now I'm with somebody who I think is gonna be a guy who plays for however long he plays for and right now it's about us establishing a connection"
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) October 23, 2019
Beckham also talked about Bill Belichick, noting that the Patriots’ head coach often warns him before games that he can expect a whole lot of double coverage.
“He’s somebody who I have much respect for,” Beckham said of Belichick. “I’ll probably talk to him before and after the game. He tells me the same thing every time, he’s like, ‘I hope you enjoy today, because there’s not gonna be much for you.’ And that’s what he’s told me, and that’s what he does every single time. It’s just tough. He’s going to coach it up, and they’re going to be ready and prepared.”
Beckham was able to crack that coverage in the memorable 2015 matchup between the Giants and Patriots, when he scored on an 87-yard catch-and-run by beating Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty. He’ll be looking to repeat that on Sunday, when the 2-4 Browns visit the undefeated Patriots.