It was a familiar scene this week with Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at the center of trade rumors, this time to the Minnesota Vikings. That report was quickly stomped out by multiple sources, however, one insider believes it’s only a matter of time before Cleveland moves on from Beckham, with a new spin on why a deal will get done.
Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported that multiple sources believe that it’s not Beckham’s personality that will eventually lead to a ticket out of town. Instead, it’s because OBJ isn’t a fit with quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“These sources all believe it’s only a matter of time before Beckham is traded from the Browns,” Freeman wrote, “and they don’t believe it’s because of a perceived attitude problem with Beckham.”
Freeman cites Mayfield’s lack of accuracy last season as a reason for Beckham’s lack of potency.
“Beckham is demanding of quarterbacks. He becomes frustrated when they’re inaccurate. And after reaching 1,300 yards and 10 TDs in each of his first three seasons but not approaching those kinds of numbers in three seasons since, he’s at a boiling point,” Freeman wrote. “Most players who have these types of high standards are praised, but Beckham is viewed differently. Some believe he will only fit into (and be happy in) an offense with a highly accurate quarterback.”
Browns Dispel Odell Beckham Trade Rumors
Beckham’s time with the Browns has been filled with trade rumors — a situation he isn’t completely innocent in. OBJ gave a cryptic press conference during the downward spiral of the team’s 6-10 campaign. However, he seemingly put that to bed, telling reporters, “There’s no place I’d rather be.”
However, the trade rumors have persisted and the Browns were reportedly in talks with the Vikings this week to deal Beckham for a second and fifth-round pick.
“In short, I will just say it was completely false,” DePodesta said. “It is frustrating a little bit, obviously. I think it is pretty clear what we are trying to build at this point. We have done an awful lot in free agency.
“We are excited about what we have a chance to do in the draft, and we are really building around a core of players that we think have a chance to be a championship-caliber core. The idea that we would take away from that core at this moment just does not make a whole lot of sense and is really not something that we are exploring at all. It is completely false.”
Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Seeking Bounce Back Years
Mayfield finished his second NFL season with 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He ranked next-to-last in both passer rating (78.8) and completion percentage (59.4%) despite having both Beckham and Jarvis Landry at his disposal.
However, Mayfield played behind a shoddy offensive line and in an offense that never seemed to have consistent direction under the leadership of former head coach Freddie Kitchens. Landry spoke on the messy game plan under Kitchens this offseason.
“I’ll say this, the first 20 plays of a game are scripted calls,” Landry said. “The first 20 plays of the game are calls that come from a team’s tendencies of how they approach the game in the first quarter or the first drive, so it can be predictable, what the defense is going to do. After that, it’s just kind of off of play-calling. Obviously, it comes down to execution, it comes down to making the throw, making the catches, making the blocks, but I just don’t know what the plan was [after the first 15 plays].”
Despite breaking the 1,000-yard barrier, Beckham did not live up to the wild expectations set for him, finishing his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in a year that was defined more by what happened off the field than on it.