It hasn’t been the smoothest few weeks for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and according to a new report, the off-field drama has the locker room divided on the former No. 1 overall pick.
Fox Sports talking head Skip Bayless said that he spoke to a source embedded in the Browns locker room and he was told that Mayfield is losing a handle on the locker room due to the release of Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this month.
“I talked to one source last night that is a very good source that is very plugged into the Cleveland Browns and knows a lot of the players. That source told me this is all about Odell because the players in the locker room — I think we are talking mostly black players, just to be specific about it — are in awe of Odell Beckham Jr.,” Bayless said on Undisputed. “His mystique and his aura is much bigger than his production over the last four years. He has been beat up, he’s had three surgeries in four years, but I’m going to leave all that alone. He’s still on a pedestal.”
The Browns passing offense has failed to get on track as of late and Bayless believes there are others in the locker room who want to be “freed” as Beckham was.
“Those players, especially those a little younger than him, adore him and look up to Odell. My source told me that team is very close to turning on Baker because there is no more Odell. Even LeBron tweeted ‘Free Odell’ and once Odell got freed and goes to the Rams, everyone else in the locker room thinks, ‘Gee, I wish I could be free. I wish I could get out of here too.’ They are turning on Baker.”
Beckham was sent off with goodbyes from nearly every receiver in a locker room, who mentioned how good of a teammate he was during his time in Cleveland. That ranged form rookie Anthony Schwartz, to his long-time friend Jarvis Landry.
Beckham Says Browns Breakup Was Not Expected
Bringing Beckham to Cleveland was a blockbuster move engineered by former Browns GM John Dorsey that never panned out. Despite breaking the 1,000-yard barrier during his first season in Cleveland with Freddie Kitchens at the helm, Beckham did not live up to the wild expectations set for him. He finished with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns, with the Browns finishing 6-10.
Before tearing his ACL last season, Beckham had 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns, also adding a rushing score. His career in a Browns uniform wrapped up with 114 catches for 1,586 yards and seven touchdowns.
Beckham’s final days with the Browns were ugly, with the pass-catcher’s dad posting a highlight video basically roasting quarterback Baker Mayfield and blaming him for his son’s struggles. Beckham was then asked to stay home and was soon released after renegotiating his deal.
According to Monday Night Football sideline reporter Lisa Salters, Beckham had never intended to leave Cleveland and things simply spiraled out of control.
“He told me he didn’t really want to talk about what happened in Cleveland and what led to his release there, but he did say every detail of it was crazy to him,” Salters said. “He said, ‘I don’t have words for it, it stinks, it was never intended,’ and he said he never could’ve envisioned any of it.