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Mara’s grandchildren cried after learning of OBJ trade

Giants Wire logo Giants Wire 3/25/2019 Dan Benton
a man standing in front of a building: USA TODAY © USA TODAY USA TODAY

When general manager Dave Gettleman took the proposed trade of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the desk of New York Giants co-owner John Mara, he was met with unexpected resistance.

Both Mara and fellow co-owner, Steve Tisch, didn't want to trade Beckham initially, but Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur eventually sold them on the idea.

Mara and Tisch later signed off. Reluctantly.

"The [Browns] made an offer that Dave and Pat found compelling and we ultimately approved it," Mara told reporters from the NFL Owners' Meetings in Arizona. "It was not an easy decision."

"Not an easy decision at all," Tisch followed.

"It was reluctant approval because I like Odell," Mara added.

For Mara, the decision to trade Odell became personal. When he informed his grandchildren of the trade, they cried. And to this day, one is still giving him the cold shoulder.

"The toughest phone call I had to make was to my grandsons to tell them we traded their favorite player. They sobbed. Uncontrollably," Mara said.

Beyond just the ire of his grandchildren, Mara admits the pain will continue when he sees Beckham succeeding at a high level with the Cleveland Browns.

"It's not going to be easy [to watch Beckham play in Cleveland], I won't lie to you," Mara said.

The sentiment was similar in regards to safety Landon Collins, whom the team did not franchise and who later signed a long-term deal with their NFC East rivals, the Washington Redskins.

"It killed me to see him go," Mara said.

Business is business in the NFL, but even for owners, it can become personal. Mara wasn't a fan of the decisions that had to be made, but both he and Tisch made them in what they believe is the best interest of the New York Football Giants.

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