At just 2-3, the Cleveland Browns are not off to the start that was expected when the team assembled a massive amount of talent in the offseason, becoming the fastest moving hype train in the NFL.
Premier among the acquisitions was star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was expected to turn second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield — who set the rookie record for TD passes in a season — into an MVP candidate.
Instead, the new QB-WR relationship has been a work in progress, at best. Beckham has had just two catches in each of the last two games and Mayfield is coming off the worst game of his career, recording a quarterback rating of 13.4 in a 31-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The roller coaster ride through the first five games has caused some obvious overreactions, and the latest came from noted Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham combatant Colin Cowherd.
While on his radio show, Cowherd argued that the Browns should call it quits on the OBJ experiment and trade him.
“This is not a hot take, it’s the action Cleveland needs to take. I would strongly consider trading Odell Beckham Jr,” Cowherd ranted. “They’re trying so hard to take a gifted, brilliant, and sensitive wide out and wedge him, sometimes too much, into the game plan.”
Browns Struggling to Get Odell Beckham Involved in Offense
Cowherd continued on the rant, citing that there are too many players to keep happy in Cleveland.
“Kareem Hunt will arrive Nov. 10 and then you’re going to have another mouth to feed. Cleveland’s offensive line is completely overwhelmed against elite pass rushes. Everyone ripped Houston when they made that big trade and got Laremy Tunsil, but did you notice Houston last week? No sacks and five touchdown passes,” Cowherd said. “They have a surplus of weapons and it’s time to move off OBJ. His targets are going down every week and they’re a better team when they run. Baker to Odell is not working and they’re trying to force this thing to work. Do you even think he’s happy there? Y’all knew he wanted to end up in LA, and on Instagram he wanted to be with Tom Brady. He didn’t want to be on a historically losing franchise with a rookie head coach.”
For what its worth, Cowherd has a point. With head coach Freddie Kitchens calling the plays, the Browns have struggled to use Beckham to the best of his abilities. His targets have gone down every week and if you subtract an 89-yard reception against the Jets, Beckham has just 246 yards in five games.
The Browns have tried to get the ball into his hands in unique ways, including having him throw the ball in back to back weeks. However, Beckham has not been optimized as a pass-catcher in Cleveland so far.
But no matter how brutal of a beginning its been, there’s no chance that the Browns deal Beckham at this point, or ever really. He’s a clear piece for the future and it would take an record-setting king’s ransom to pull him out of Cleveland.
Browns Are Underdogs at Home to Seahawks After Big Line Shift
The Browns were slated to be 2-point favorites against the Seahawks at home on Sunday, but after the debacle against the 49ers, the line has shifted dramatically, with Seattle currently installed as a 2-point favorite.
To be competitive against the rolling 4-1 Seahawks and Russell Wilson, Kitchens knows his team needs to find consistency in a hurry.
“We just need to find consistency in how we prepare, how we approach the games, how we approach the play. Your hats got to go off to the 49ers,” Kitchens said. “They executed better than we executed. They coached better than we coached. They did everything last night better than we did.”