After the Buffalo Bills' 24-10 loss to the New York Giants last season, cornerback Stephon Gilmore didn't hold back when The News asked him about Odell Beckham Jr. He was blunt, honest and his biting words were heard loud and clear in New Jersey.
In that game, of course, Beckham threw several punches that ticked off Bills defenders. And Gilmore, one of the most soft-spoken corners in the game, called the wide receiver a "prima donna."
“I don’t know what’s up with him," Gilmore said then. "He acts like nobody’s supposed to hit him and you’re supposed to let him catch the ball. He’s weird. He gets mad when you play physical with him. He’s weird.
“He’s different. It’s kind of like you’re playing your little brother and he gets mad at you for being too physical with him — throwing a tantrum. I’m like, ‘Man, we’re playing football. It’s a physical game. ... He’s a prima donna. He feels like he’s on top of the world and nobody’s supposed to do anything to him."
Now, it appears a rivalry between the two is continuing to brew. Gilmore and Beckham stepped into the Instagram ring on Saturday night.
First, Beckham posted a photo of himself catching the ball vs. Gilmore with the message, "It ain't a moment till u make it..."
Certainly remembering that he mostly shut Beckham down in that game, Gilmore noticed this and responded.
The Bills cornerback then posted a photo of Beckham unable to hang onto the ball with himself in coverage along with the words, "It ain't a moment til you make it." Beckham managed just five receptions for 38 yards on 12 targets, his second-worst statistical game of the season.
That wasn't all, either. In since-deleted Instagram posts captured by @MikeKing00 and passed along by Scout.com's Ryan Talbot, the two ramped it up a notch.
First Beckham called Gilmore "irrelevant"...
Gilmore? He then made sure to bring up those punches...
S0 once Beckham talked down to Gilmore, Gilmore hashtagged back that Beckham had "more punches than receptions."
Film of that game doesn't lie, either.
The Bills/Giants game was full of questionable behavior. In a span of three plays, Beckham socked both linebacker Preston Brown and safety Duke Williams. Here's the Williams replay. As Brown put then, "That’s what he does. He’ll get away with it. He’s the ‘golden boy’ of the league. He’s on the cover of Madden. Sometimes, you get away with stuff like that.”
A few weeks after this, Beckham then took a run at Carolina's Josh Norman.
As is the case with such social-media feuds, the posts were quickly taken down. But the duo did then head to Twitter for a little subtweeting. Gilmore wrote that "I'm all about the game of football... Nothing else." And Beckham? He tweeted "People really take it personal lol. Tryna make a name, tryna come up, I respect yalls hustle . But don't try to come up off me #PSA."
Circle your preseason calendars, everyone. The Bills and Giants will face off at Ralph Wilson Stadium the third weekend in August.
If Rex Ryan is the Rex Ryan we all think he is, he'll match up Gilmore on Beckham that night.
This is a critical season for Gilmore, who's entering the final year of his rookie deal. Before a season-ending shoulder injury, he was having a career year in 2015 with 36 tackles, three interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 11 1/2 games. The Bills must decide soon if they want to lock up Gilmore as their No. 1 corner long term and, in turn, Gilmore may look to hit free agency where a huge pay day could await.
Former All-Pro Darren Woodson, for one, sees some Deion Sanders in Gilmore.
Just last month Gilmore spoke at length about this and his quiet approach to the position. Never one to seek a huddle of cameras, Gilmore half-joked that "maybe I should talk a little bit more," before realizing that's not who he is.
“I know who I am and nobody can tell me I’m not,” Gilmore said in March. “If you really watch the film, really study the film and not go off hype and people who talk more than what I do, just go off the film and it’ll show you that.
“If anybody says this person’s good and everybody hears it, everybody’s going to say he’s good. You know? If not many people actually look at it – and look at what he’s doing – then they don’t know.
“I don’t need to talk and say I’m the best.”
But if a receiver takes to Instagram? He is apparently not going to sit idly by.