Baker Mayfield ‘Toxic’ for Odell Beckham in Cleveland, Analyst Says

Odell Beckham Eagles

Getty Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.

As the Cleveland Browns look to keep their playoff hopes alive, the main topic of controversy surrounding the team has been the future of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

While Beckham and those close to him like fellow pass-catcher Jarvis Landry have refuted reports that he’s looking for a ticket out of town and a third team in three years, the trade talk has continued to be deafening around Cleveland.

Among those who believe that Beckham wants to leave is ESPN analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl safety Ryan Clark, who cited quarterback Baker Mayfield as the problem.

“If I was Odell, I would want to leave,” Clark said while on ESPN’s Get Up. “This isn’t the place for him. Cleveland isn’t big enough for Odell Beckham Jr. And he also can’t be with a quarterback who frankly isn’t playing very well and is talking more than he’s playing. There are things that are going to surrounding Odell Beckham Jr. that aren’t necessarily brought on by him. And that’s what we have seen.

“He’s behaved in a way where you think this wouldn’t be so much news. And then when your quarterback can’t shut his mouth, when your quarterback feels like he has to speak on everything and continues to make the atmosphere around you toxic. Odell Beckham Jr. has to be somewhere where the quarterback says nothing and just plays ball.”

Beckham has 59 catches for 844 yards and still has a chance to break 1,000 yards fifth time in his career. However, he’s coming off his third two-catch game of the season and has broken 100 yards on just two occasions this season. He also has found the end zone just twice this year.

On top of the lack of chemistry with Beckham, Mayfield has struggled after his record-setting rookie season, throwing more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (15).

Ryan Clark: We Owned Cleveland Longer Than the Haslams

Former Steelers safety Safety Ryan Clark.

Clark was criticized on social media for saying that Cleveland wasn’t big enough for Beckham, considering NBA star LeBron James played in the city for the majority of his career. However, Clark pointed out that he was talking about the team, not the city.

Then he decided to throw some shade.

“Why would I ever have ill feelings about a team we OWNED longer than the Haslam family has,” Clark wrote. “Also, I’m no Steeler Homer. In that case I never would have defend[ed] Myles Garrett & made sure Mason Rudolph was held accountable for his actions. Pay attention.”

Randy Lerner sold the team to Jimmy Haslam III for a reported price of over $1 billion in 2012. Clark played for the Steelers from 2006-13.

Browns Look to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive Against Cardinals

The Browns have their playoff hopes hanging by a thread at 6-7, but have a chance to quite some of the noise by beating the Arizona Cardinals this week and moving to .500. 

The Cardinals — who have dropped six straight — aren’t taking a matchup with the Browns lightly.

“Really talented. Offensively, you look at the weapons. The two running backs (Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb) are as good as anybody in the league,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Dynamic tight ends that can stretch the field. Two of the top wide receivers. They do a nice job with their scheme. They’re loaded and have two huge wins over Baltimore and Buffalo who are two of the tops teams in the league, so you can see any given day they can play with anybody.”

Cleveland is a 2.5-point favorite for the contest.

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