Analyst: Odell Beckham’s Future in Major Jeopardy After Injury

Getty Odell Beckham Jr. of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cleveland Browns and Odell Beckham Jr. received the worst-case situation news on Monday when it was revealed through an MRI that the star wide receiver had torn his ACL after trying to make a tackle during Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

Beckham was making a hustle play after quarterback Baker Mayfield threw an interception on the first pass of the game. Beckham was taken directly to the locker room and did not return. Josina Anderson first reported that the injury was indeed an ACL tear, which will sideline Beckham for the rest of this season and possibly part of next year.

Former NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver turned analyst Keyshawn Johnson said on Monday’s edition of ESPN’s First Take that he fears for Beckham’s future in the league as a No. 1 wide receiver, especially considering that he has a big-money opportunity coming up if the Browns eventually decide to cut him with no cap repercussions in 2022. Beckham is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024 if he plays out his deal.

“I feel bad for him. I know the way NFL players — receivers in particular — think about their money. All of that is in major jeopardy now,” Johnson said. “We don’t know what he’s going to be when he comes back. Who’s going to make him a No. 1 when he comes back? … Two years from now, no one is looking at him like that.”

Max Kellerman is scared Odell Beckham Jr.‘s torn ACL could be a career-changing moment | First TakeStephen A. reacts to Odell's ACL injury: Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Ryan Clark discuss the news of Cleveland Browns star Odell Beckham Jr.’s season coming to an end following a torn ACL. #FirstTake #NFL ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: ✔️ Subscribe to…2020-10-26T18:01:58Z

Odell Beckham Likely Not Going Anywhere After Injury

There was plenty of speculation that the Browns could look to move Beckham before the trade deadline, with the offense shifting to a more run-heavy approach under Kevin Stefanski. However, Beckham won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

As Mike Garafolo of NFL Network points out, Beckham will get $12.971 million as an injury guaranteed if he’s on the Browns roster on the third day of the league year, which usually begins in March. If the Browns decided to make a move next season, a team would have to take on Beckham’s hefty contract and would have to prove to a team through a physical that he’s healthy enough to be moved.

Before the injury, Beckham caught 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He also contributed on the ground with three rushes for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Stephen A. Smith Still Not Buying in on Baker Mayfield

ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith was a vocal supporter of both Beckham and Jarvis Landry asking for a trade last week after Baker Mayfield’s miserable performance against the Steelers.

Mayfield put many of his critics on mute with his performance on Sunday against the Bengals, connecting on a franchise-record 21 consecutive passes and five touchdowns. Smith, however, isn’t buying it because it came from the team’s Ohio rival.

“The brother is 5-1 against Cincinnati and like 12-18 against everybody else,” Smith said on Monday. “I’m not sold on what he did yesterday, because it was against Cincinnati.”

Mayfield and the Browns have a chance to prove themselves again and move to 6-2 as they host the Raiders next Sunday.

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