New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers is just one of several Giants-Cleveland Browns connections entering their matchup Sunday night. Another is Odell Beckham Jr., the injured Browns receiver who used to play for the Giants.
Peppers was playing for the Browns when the trade for Beckham was made in March 2019. Peppers said he learned about the deal on Twitter.
“I was actually excited about the trade and thinking, ‘We just got Odell,’” Peppers told reporters.
As his eyes kept scrolling, Peppers learned “we” took on a whole new meaning. For Peppers, it now meant the Giants.
“And I keep looking and then I’m like, ‘Oh s–t. I’m not even here no more,” he said of the trade that sent him to New York.
“And then [former Browns general manager John] Dorsey called me like 15 minutes after that, and I had already seen the news. I actually spoke to [Giants GM Dave] Gettleman before I spoke to Dorsey. It is what it is. That’s the nature of this league. Can’t take it personal. But I’m happy. I’m happy with the outcome. It’s working out for me.”
The Giants (5-8) mostly need a win to stay in the NFC East playoff race. The Browns (9-4) need one to secure their spot and help determine their seed. So it’s almost like the playoffs have already started for both teams.
“It’s a big game,” Peppers said. “It’s not a big game because it’s my old team. It’s a big game because of what’s at stake. It’s the next game. I’m not going do anything abnormal or anything that I haven’t been doing during the season. Just going to come in, prepare like I’ve been preparing all year and try to do my job to the best of my ability.”
Along with Peppers, former Browns now with the Giants include quarterback Colt McCoy and tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens, who vastly underachieved as Browns head coach last season. Kitchens will be serving as Giants offensive coordinator Sunday, as Jason Garrett is out sick.