Odell Beckham Jr. became the talk of the trade deadline thanks to some comments not only from his dad, Odell Beckham Sr., but also high-profile athletes like LeBron James asking for the Cleveland Browns to “Free Odell.”
Beckham is listed as the No. 1 wide receiver in Cleveland but has been anything but that this season, totaling just 17 catches for 232 yards. His latest one-catch, six-yard performance against the Steelers was an all-time low for OBJ in Cleveland, which sparked his father to post a video of all the times Beckham was open but not thrown to this season.
The timing of the “Free Odell” movement comes right before the trade deadline and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk accused Beckham of being the orchestra for the drama as a way to force the Browns’ hand.
“Come on. I don’t think it’s an accident that both LeBron James and his father said what they had to say today,” Florio told 92.3 The Fan. “I think it was an orchestrated effort to try to bring this to a head.”
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports had a similar sentiment on the situation in Cleveland.
“Zero doubt this is Odell having thrown up the bat signal. It’s unfortunate for people inside the Browns that have tried to make this work and want to do everything to get away from this type of stuff,” Robinson tweeted. “Today’s events just feel like a softened version of the Lil Wayne interview.”
Robinson is referencing the very awkward interview Beckham did with ESPN in 2018, in which he talked about his dissatisfaction with the Giants’ offense with rapper Lil Wayne by his side.
Odell Beckham’s Dad Goes After Baker Mayfield
Beckham Sr. posted an 11-minute video Tuesday morning that sparked all the drama surrounding his son and the Browns.
“Generally Behind Da Scene, BUT NOT TODAY,” the elder Beckham wrote, with a series of hashtags that read “#playinghurt,” “#disrespectful” and “#7-eleven,” a reference meaning he’s always open.
He then continued his attack on the Browns and Baker Mayfield in the comment section of the post, which drew nearly 15,000 likes and received respondes from Damian Lillard and Dez Bryant.
Beckham Sr. responded to a comment that said Mayfield — who is trying to earn a long-term extension from the Browns — will not “get the big bag” because he’s mediocre, writing “Big facts.”
Browns Want to Keep Odell Beckham
Browns head coach and offensive play-caller Kevin Stefanski stepped up this week when asked about Beckham’s lack of involvement, taking the blame.
“I would tell you first and foremost, I need to do a better job. I really do. I need to make sure that I put him in position to make some plays, and I did not do a good enough job certainly yesterday. Having said that, he gets a lot of attention from the defense. There were a bunch of plays where the safety is cheating to him, and that opens up opportunities for other guys,” Stefanski said on Monday, November 1. “His effect on our offense is there, but I do need to do a better job of making sure that the ball makes its way into his hands.”
ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported that the Browns were listening to calls for Beckham “but nothing has been appealing and Odell won’t be moved.” Stefanski sees the four-time Pro Bowler as a key part of the offense and wants to make it work.
However, if Beckham becomes more of a headache than he’s worth, the Browns could look for other solutions.