Odell Beckham Jr. has found himself in a familiar spot of late — having to talk about his future with speculation swirling.
Beckham stirred up some of the noise himself with a cryptic press conference last week. He never said he wanted out or that he was unhappy while speaking to reporters, but his responses did little to build confidence that he has the long-game in mind with the Browns.
“I couldn’t tell you what’s going to happen. I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here,” Beckham said. “This is exactly where I’m at now, and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. God has a plan, and in the offseason, everything will figure itself out.”
Additional reports surfaced over the weekend, with FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer saying that Beckham has been telling opponents “come get me” before games.
But despite all the trade talk, the Browns have all the power in the situation. Beckham is inked to a deal through the 2023 and it’s unlikely that Cleveland would hit the reset button on a the deal that cost them 2017 first-round safety Jabrill Peppers and first and third-round picks in the 2019 draft.
Browns Official Laughs Off Odell Beckham Trade Talk
With all of the rumors swirling, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Sportscenter some insight he learned from Browns officials.
The basics: Beckham isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“[The Browns’ official] laughed at me, basically. He’s not going anywhere,” Mortensen said. “Right now, the idea is that they have no plans to trade him,” Mortensen said. “And even if they did, they would get nowhere near the value for him.”
The Browns have been fairly quiet on the rumors, but head coach Freddie Kitchens was asked about the multiple reports on Monday. He hasn’t seen anything to believe there is truth behind those rumors.
“Until I hear something from Odell, I am not going to comment,” Kitchens said. “Odell and my relationship is fine. Odell and (wide receivers coach) Adam’s (Henry) relationship is fine. I am sorry I do not think there is like any ‘gotcha’ moment here. I can only tell you what I think and what I have seen from Odell, and what I have seen from Odell is nothing like the reports indicate. So, sorry.”
Kitchens commended his team for blocking out what he has referred to a “fluff” this season — things going on in the media and outside of the building they can’t control.
“Listen, I am being serious with you, I think our guys have done a tremendous job this year of blocking out the ‘almost’ or the ‘what ifs’ or the ‘I heard,'” Kitchens said. “They come to work every day, and everything here stays in here and they try to block out the outside noise. I think they have done a great job of that.”
Odell Beckham Injured But Will Not Be Shut Down
Beckham confirmed after Sunday’s victory against the Bengals that he is dealing with an injury that has slowed him this season. Not only is he not functioning at 100% during games, but his limited practice time keeps him from gaining chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield, which has shown on game days.
Beckham is reportedly dealing with a sports hernia that will require offseason surgery and also has a groin problem. Beckham was vague when speaking to reporters, not confirming either injury but making it apparent he’s not at full strength.
“I don’t really know,” Beckham said. “You have to ask the doctors if you have a chance to interview them. I really don’t know what to tell you.”
Kitchens said despite Beckham not being healthy, there are no plans to keep him off the field.
“I think he is helping the team,” Kitchens said. “Odell is doing a great job of he wants to be out there for his teammates, and I like him to be out there for his teammates. He has been doing a good job of getting prepared during the course of the week to get to the game on Sunday.”