Odell Beckham Jr. is coming to Cleveland, which means it's time for those in New York to say their farewells.
And in doing so, one reporter shared a side of the polarizing wide receiver that hasn't often been seen.
Last fall, Kimberly Jones of the NFL Network suffered from an aortic dissection, which required emergency surgery. The near-death experience was not unlike the one endured by new Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens when he was an assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013.
Officially, Jones' experience and recovery kept her sidelined from her job for 46 days. But following her first day back -- a day she spent covering the New York Jets -- she received a text from a member of the crosstown Giants wishing her well on her return.
"That night, I got a text from Odell and it simply had a video of me interviewing him after a Giants win a couple of seasons ago," Jones revealed on Wednesday. "He wrote simply, 'I'm so happy I will still get to see you in 2019.'
"That, in my experience, is who Odell Beckham Jr. is," Jones continued. "I understand he gets a bad rap. He is emotional -- so am I -- we've connected on that level. But I do think that there is a different side to him. I hope in Cleveland, he becomes the person I know him to be in terms of the public image because that's who he is privately."
Following news of the blockbuster trade, some in the New York media have opted to bash Beckham, referencing his contract demands and off-field behavior. Jones, however, believes such criticism is unfair and not indicative of the person she's come to know.
"People are just going to say I'm an apologist, but you know what? I'm OK with that," Jones said. "I sat with him at his locker when he was a rookie and no one else was paying attention to him. I'm not taking a shot at other media there, I'm in a little bit of a different role, I didn't have to necessarily get the day-to-day news that everyone else did. He wasn't playing, he had the hamstring injury. I got to know him.
"He said to me one day that he didn't think Tom Coughlin understood him and how much he loves to practice because Coughlin was so frustrated he couldn't practice with those hamstrings. And I said, 'Have you thought about going to his office?' He did go to Tom Coughlin's office and the next time I talked to him, he told me how relieved he was and at that moment, we in the media saw Tom Coughlin's attitude about those hamstrings change. I've seen Odell grow. I don't excuse the mistakes. But heaven knows I made a million mistakes at an age older than Odell Beckham Jr. is now. I guess that's why I'm more forgiving."
After Jones shared a video of her comments on Twitter, Beckham retweeted the post with a personal note of his own.
"Kim I can’t thank u enough for what uve done for me and my career," the 3-time Pro Bowl selection wrote. "The side convos, the real life convos, I love u so much ! Always in ur corner and rooting for u. We’re blessed to still have u in this world ! N P.S smile this ain’t a goodbye ! My phone will always work for u!!!"
On Wednesday, the Browns acquired Beckham from the Giants in exchange for a first and third round pick in 2019, as well as safety Jabrill Peppers. In 12 games last season, the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year recorded 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and 6 touchdowns.