Before the world found out about the blockbuster trade between the Giants and the Browns, Saquon Barkley received a call from Odell Beckham Jr. -- the highlight of the deal.
"We talked over FaceTime, he had just gotten traded, so I don't think he was really happy about it," Barkley told NJ.com's Matt Lombardo after Penn State's Pro Day on Tuesday, where the former Nittany Lion went to support his former teammates. "He just gave me some advice about how to handle stuff in the league. He was the same old big brother to me that he's always been."
Barkley was out in Los Angeles with WR Sterling Shepard and TE Evan Engram working out together in preparation for the upcoming season. Beckham has also been out in LA doing the exact same, but he had reportedly been out in Paris when he got the call from GM Dave Gettleman that he was moving him to Cleveland.
And with the trade, Barkley is no longer the "little brother" on the team. Instead, the Giants' offense will revolve around Barkley, who will be entrusted to produce more than he did in his Rookie of the Year season in 2018.
Barkley recognizes that responsibility, and also believes other players need to step up next season if the Giants want to put together wins.
"I have to grow as a leader more," Barkley explained. "Whether it's being a vocal leader or leading by example, it's a team effort. We have to have other players grow as leaders, continue to believe in each other."
Still, no matter what fans and experts say about what Beckham was during his Giants career, no one can deny the team has lost one of the best receivers in the NFL. His now former teammates know that, and will certainly miss him next year on the sideline.
"I was sad to see him go," Barkley said. "But, hopefully he continues to have a great career there in Cleveland."