Myles Garrett had a message Saturday for those who were upset at his video where he playfully asked the Dallas Cowboys to draft him by making a trade with the Cleveland Browns for the first overall pick in the draft.
His message: "Take a joke, people."
Garrett spoke with ESPN's Sam Khan Jr. In the interview, Garrett confirmed that the video taken by an ESPN social media producer in early December and posted Friday was purely in fun.
He explained further in the interview, which is below:
Question: Explain how the video came about:
Garrett: "I had been interviewing with a young woman that was there at the red carpet [for the college football awards show]. She sat down and she was like 'OK, I have an idea for one more thing.' I was like 'All right.' She said 'It's 100 percent fun and say whatever you want to say, have a message toward any coach or any owner who you'd like to speak to for your favorite team. Just say whatever you want and have fun. It doesn't have to be serious, just play around with it.' I was like 'All right.' So I said what has been going around [from Friday's release of the video] and it was supposed to be pretty much a joke and not taken too seriously. It kind of got blown up."
Q: Were you caught off guard by the national reaction?
Garrett: "Definitely. I've already said I like the Cowboys because that's my hometown team. Everybody knows you're going to like your hometown team. But I want to go No. 1. Whoever that is, if that's Cleveland, I have no problem going up there and playing with them. I'm going to love whatever team and organization that I'm a part of."
Q: So anybody thinking that you want the Cowboys to trade Tony Romo to acquire you, it's just you having fun?
Garrett: "That was something my friends have been talking about and joking about, so I thought it would be funny to put that in the video, because the video wasn't supposed to be serious. [My friends said] 'Well maybe they can [trade] Romo or trade all of their picks.' I said 'That'd be one hell of a trade.' But no, [I wasn't being serious]. I just want to go No. 1."
Q: What's the message you want to tell people about the NFL draft and your future?
Garrett: "Relax. I want to be the greatest player who has ever been at my position, the greatest player who has ever played. I have to pass up [Tom] Brady now, but no matter what team that is, I'm going to give my all. I'm not going to be any different. Whoever picks me up, I'm not going to show any less or any more effort. I'm going to give 100 percent to whatever team [drafts me] and have fun with it."
Q: So obviously, you want to go No. 1, so that means you would like to go to Cleveland?
Garrett: "Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, whoever has No. 1 at the end of the day, that's where I'm trying to go."
Q: Why are you not attending the draft?
Garrett: "Just want to spend time with my family. They raised me, got me where I'm supposed to be. My family and friends who stuck along for the ride, they deserve to be part of this big moment in my life."
Q: Anything you want to add?
Garrett: "Take a joke, people."