Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. First Played Against Each Other in 2016. Lets Look at Where They are Now.
On December 4, 2016, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants met on a nationally televised game. Both teams had slow starts to the season, but they were starting to turn it around. Pittsburgh, after starting 4-5, had already won 2 straight games. The Giants, after starting 2-3, were riding a 6 game winning streak. The Steelers won the game 24-14, both teams made the playoffs, but there was something bigger to the hype of this matchup.
It was the battle of wide receivers. Antonio Brown of the Steelers, vs Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants. Both of them were having career years, so it was fitting that they were were at the center of attention for this matchup. Brown recorded 6 receptions for 110 yards, and a touchdown. Beckham Jr. caught 10 passes for 100 yards. Little did anyone know that after 2 seasons that included massive contract extensions and great individual numbers, these 2 players would be on the move to different teams.
Although they both share the ability to run perfect routes, make spectacular catches and run past entire secondaries to score touchdowns, which has been amazing to watch over the past few seasons, what hasn't been fun to watch is the negative attitude that both players possess. Beckham Jr. has had many temper tantrums and this year, in an interview, he refused to support his quarterback Eli Manning. Antonio Brown has been caught on camera numerous times throwing fits when he wouldn't get the ball in his last 2 seasons. It has also been reported that he was late to many meetings, threatened a reporter, and sarcastically demanded to be traded. Off-field incidents have also been common. He nearly hit a little kid and his grandfather by throwing objects from his Florida balcony, he was caught driving over the speed limit, and in January he was charged with domestic violence. In the Steelers' final game of 2018, Brown was told that he wouldn't be playing for disciplinary reasons and at the end of the first half, he left the game.
As for Odell, his transition from the Giants to the Cleveland Browns was surprising. What made it surprising, was that in August, Beckham Jr. received a contract extension of 5 years and $95 million. Odell's questionable antics on the field did not occur as much as before. If anything, he had a strong season catching 77 passes for 1,052 yards and scoring 6 times. He even threw 2 long touchdown passes, This was in only 12 games played before having to sit out the final 4 games with a quad injury. Their wasn't a lot of attention surrounding Odell as most of it was directed to Brown. When asked about Odell's current placement with the Giants, GM Dave Gettleman stated, "We didn't sign him to trade him." It seemed to have put an end to any possibilities of Odell not starting 2019 in a Giants uniform. Or that's what everyone thought before March 11 - the day that OBJ was traded to the Browns. The move shocked the football world. No one envisioned Beckham Jr. becoming a Brown, yet here it was happening right now. The Giants got a decent return on the trade, receiving a 1st and 3rd round pick along with safety Jabrill Peppers. However, it is clear that this trade along with some other moves signals a rebuilding period in New York. The Browns on the other hand, are looking like they're going to be an offensive juggernaut with quarterback Baker Mayfield, running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (who won't take the field until week 8 due to a suspension), tight end David Njoko, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry. This makes the Browns future sky high and fans will now have a reason to be excited, which hasn't been the case in a long time. As for Odell, he will now have the chance to consistently compete for a playoff berth and possibly a Super Bowl title when the Browns eventually become experienced with postseason football.
For Antonio Brown, it was no surprise as everyone knew he wanted out once he skipped the second half of their final game. After nearly 2 months of not responding to the texts and calls of Steelers management, he and owner Art Rooney II cleared the air and decided that a trade was the best option for both parties. On March 10th, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders. It was likely a better trade for the Raiders. For the Steelers, there isn't much to say except for that in return, they only received a 3rd and 5th round pick. For Brown he's traded to a team that is in dire need of skill players to support quarterback Derek Carr who was once looked at as a potential M.V.P. Coach Jon Gruden, who is known for his wisdom on the offensive side of the ball, now has the chance to work with arguably the best receiver of his generation. Brown can now prove that he is still one of the best players in the NFL.
So 2 of the top wide receivers with the same play style and personalities are now starting over with new teams. If you were a football fan watching that game back in 2016 you wouldn't have thought they would be traded 2 years later. Yet here they are on their new teams ready to prove themselves to the football world.