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Manning calls OBJ most gifted athlete he's played with

Quarterback Eli Manning is left to pick up the pieces in the wake of the New York Giants shipping off wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a stunning trade to the Cleveland Browns.

Manning hasn't publicly addressed the trade, but he provided an opinion Wednesday while participating as a panel member for the NYIT Center for Sports Medicine/Head Injury Association discussion on head injury awareness.

According to Newsday, emcee Max Gomez asked Manning to name the most gifted athlete the quarterback has ever played with.

The signal-caller's response shouldn't surprise.

"Probably Odell," Manning said, via Neil Best of Newsday. "Yeah, yeah, he's gifted. He's very gifted."

Manning knows first-hand about Beckham's skills, of course.

During five seasons in New York and with Manning under center, Beckham totaled 390 catches for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. The wide receiver produced four 1,000-yard receiving campaigns and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (2014-16).

The chemistry between Manning and Beckham also extended to the dance floor, as the two put on a memorable recreation of the final scene from Dirty Dancing during a Super Bowl LII commercial.

But unlike the movie or even the dance, there isn't a happy ending to this real-life story.

Beckham now takes his gifts to Cleveland, while Manning enters the final year of his contract facing the unknown on his future and with questions surrounding who picks up the slack in the passing game in Beckham's absence.

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