Just a few months removed from forcing his way off the Cleveland Browns, Odell Beckham Jr. is set to play in the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams — something he was supposed to do with his good buddy Jarvis Landry in Cleveland.
Beckham played a large role in the Rams 20-17 win, snatching nine catches for 113 yards as his squad claimed the NFC Championship. Meanwhile, Landry and the rest of the Browns were sitting at home, as they have been for the entire postseason after finishing a disappointing 8-9.
Landry and Beckham go way back as friends, having played together during their college days at LSU. Landry admitted it stung when Beckham left the Browns and did not speak to the media after his departure outside of a short conversation at a charity event.
He’s been cheering hard for Beckham since he left the Browns and delivered a message on OBJ making his first Super Bowl following Sunday’s tilt against the 49ers.
“Congratulations Brudda!” Landry tweeted. “The story of you staring you is amazing to watch #GetThatRing #Example.”
Other Browns also tweeted in support of Beckham, including Greg Newsome II and D’Ernest Johnson.
Beckham Still Had Support in Browns Locker Room
Beckham was criticized for his departure from Cleveland appearing to be orchestrated. He had prominent athletes like LeBron James tweeting #FreeOdell once the trade deadline passed with no action and his father went on the offensive via social media with scathing criticism of quarterback Baker Mayfield.
But despite that, Beckham’s reputation with his teammates made his split with the Browns a polarizing topic in the locker room. Browns rookie wide receiver Anthony Schwartz recently spoke on what it’s been like for him seeing Beckham succeed.
“When you have a guy like that, it’s hard not to root for him,” Schwartz told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “Especially how he’s doing now and seeing how he’s playing, we’re all pulling for him — everyone in terms of the receiver room, everyone else I’ve seen. Everyone’s been rooting for him. That’s pretty much what it is. He’s more of a brother. He’s not just a teammate. We’re all brothers. That’s how we see things.”
But not everyone was happy about Beckham’s success, most notably Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
“What OBJ did to orchestrate his way out of Cleveland is a horrible precedent. The media will fawn over him the next 2 weeks but I won’t,” wrote Ruiter on Twitter. “Nothing to feel good about what he did, which they will ignore. Don’t get how former Browns teammates can be happy for a dude who quit on them.
“As for the whole Browns reputation being damaged by OBJ’s piss poor attitude here, [things] should be the exact opposite. He owes Andrew Berry for doing him a solid. And every player & agent should respect how Berry made this possible when he was under no obligation to do so.”
Beckham, Miller Plotter Teamup in Offseason
What added some extra sting to the situation this week was an interview from Rams linebacker Von Miller, who told Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated that Beckham told him explicitly not to come to Cleveland when they were plotting to team up.
Whether it was the system or Beckham not buying all the way in, it’s obvious something didn’t click in Cleveland. Beckham dealt with injuries and his 29-game tenure with Cleveland ended with just 114 catches for 1,586 and seven touchdowns.
Beckham notched 305 yards and five touchdowns in eight regular-season games with the Rams. This postseason he’s caught 19 balls for 236 yards and a score.
“Taking me in, pushing me for excellence, the weight room — everything about this place is right and it’s done right,” Beckham said after the NFC Championship. “And it’s just been an incredible opportunity. And I feel like I’m just trying to make the most of it. And here we are playing in the Super Bowl, one game away from our dreams.”