Baker Mayfield was caught off guard by the trade deadline drama supplied by his Cleveland Browns teammate Odell Beckham Jr. but it focused simply on winning going forward.
Mayfield spoke to the media on Wednesday about the video posted by Beckham’s father, Odell Beckham Sr., breaking down all the times the Browns QB did not pass the ball to his son.
“Deliberately not throwing the ball to an extremely talented player that I’ve put in a lot of work with? It’s an opinionated statement, I’ll say,” Mayfield told reporters. “I’ve had conversations with his dad before, man-to-man, face-to-face. And I was pretty surprised by the video and the intentions and the feelings behind it. I would be lying if I said otherwise.”
“Naturally he wants his son to succeed,” Mayfield added, “I want Odell to succeed.”
Mayfield said he was more surprised than hurt by the situation. He and Beckham have had a solid off-field relationship, although their chemistry on it has been lacking. The former top overall pick would welcome an apology but is just asking for the minimum at the moment. Mayfield has not heard from Beckham over the last 24 hours.
“I think that any sort of conversation would go a long way,” Mayfield said. “I’m prepared to do whatever. If he’s back, then we’ll work through it and do whatever it takes. I can put my ego and pride to the side to win because that’s all I care about is winning.”
When asked about the prospect of actually having Beckham back, Mayfield turned the focus to winning.
“I would take anything to have a winning team right now,” Mayfield said. “Our focus needs to be on winning. Anything like this, stuff created on the outside drama-wise, takes away from the focus, attention to detail that we need to have.”
Mayfield Unsure of Resolution for Browns
The Browns front office is currently trying to reach some kind of conclusion with Beckham about his future with the team.
“They are discussing a lot of things,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters on Wednesday, November 3. “The truth is I do not have a ton of details for you. I am happy to answer as much as I can, but I think some things we will know more as we go.”
The Browns are on the hook for more than $8 million of his salary. If they waive Beckham, any other team could sign him and take on that money, which is unlikely. The more likely outcome would be that Beckham clears waivers, the Browns have to pay him and he’s free to sign with the team of his choice.
The Browns will not simply release Beckham without him giving back some of the money he’s owed. They’d rather burn a roster spot, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
“Browns/OBJ may be able to reach some sort of financial resolution to end his time in Cleveland but as of now team not willing to waive him, and is willing to burn a 53-man roster spot just for him to stay away and excuse him indefinitely,” La Canfora reported. “That’s a new one for me. This isn’t over.”
Mayfield said he’s uncertain of what the solution is going forward with Beckham.
“We’re having to multitask instead of being able to focus on winning,” Mayfield said. “There’s no manual for this.”
Browns Not Worried About ‘Pro’ Jarvis Landry
If the Browns do part ways with Beckham, there are questions about how it would affect Jarvis Landry, his best friend on the team and college teammate. Both Stefanski and Mayfield know Landry will be fine.
“I think Jarvis is a pro. I am not worried about Jarvis,” Stefanski said.
Mayfield echoed that sentiment, saying he has already talked to Landry about the situation.
“Jarvis wants to win as badly as I do,” Mayfield said.
We’ll see how it all shakes out but the Browns seem to be ready to leave all the drama in the past and focus on moving to 5-4 against the Bengals in a crucial divisional matchup on Sunday.