“I just came across the [tracker] at the bottom of the screen,” Manning said, via Michael Eisen of the team website. “Started to get a few texts. That is how I found out. The reaction, I wanted to reach out to him. Odell has been a teammate for five years and has been a friend. These circumstances, you think about the player involved. It is more than just a player; it is someone you have a relationship with. You think more about that person, how they are handling it and that they are OK and doing well with it.”
Manning said he and Beckham — both of whom attended Isidore Newman School in New Orleans — have communicated since the trade.
“I think after being in the NFL for 16 years, I don’t think there are a whole lot of surprises anymore,” Manning said. “You learn to deal with everything. You learn to adjust. You move on and do my job, do it to the best of my ability and get the players that are here up to speed. That is the great thing about football. I am excited about the players that we have and the additions that we have made. Get everyone up to speed and on the same page. Keep moving forward.”
Beckham, 26, averaged 78 catches, 1,095 yards and almost nine touchdowns a season in his five seasons with the Giants. Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard now become the team’s top wideouts, with Saquon Barkley at running back and Evan Engram at tight end.
“Guys have to step up,” Manning said. “We have good players on this team. Talented receivers and running backs. We played the last four, five games of the season without [Beckham]. We were able to score points and move the ball. He is a tremendous player and was a tremendous player for us. There are certain things that he can do that not everyone can do, but we still have guys that can play and help us be a tremendous offense and score a lot of points.”