Odell Beckham Jr.’s father took to Instagram on Tuesday to defend his son and take a shot at Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield with the trade deadline looming.
Beckham Sr. posted an 11-minute clip of all the times his son was open but was not thrown to.
“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. The post had nearly 15,000 likes and drew responses from big names like Portland Trail Blazer’s guard Damian Lillard.
The post comes after Beckham managed just one catch for six yards against the Steelers in a 15-10 loss. Overall, Beckham ranks 151st in the league in receptions per target and 139th in receptions per route run, per ESPN’s Jake Trotter.
While the Beckham Sr.’s post might be a sign that the polarizing pass-catcher wants out of town, it’s not likely to happen until the offseason.
ESPN’s Diana Russini reported that the Browns have no plans to deal Beckham.
“The Cleveland Browns have no plans on trading Odell Beckham Jr. by today’s trade deadline,” she tweeted. “I was told there haven’t been any offers that would make sense for the organization.”
Mayfield, Beckham Have Had Good Relationship
Beckham and Mayfield have said all the right things during their partnership, which has spanned two and a half seasons now. Beckham has constantly supported Mayfield despite their lack of chemistry and the duo have worked on building their chemistry, which has been slowed by injuries and lack of practice time. Both Mayfield and Beckham are currently playing through shoulder injuries.
The Browns offense flourished at the end of last season as the team clinched a spot in the playoffs and beat the Steelers in the Wild Card round. That was without Beckham in the lineup and there was a sentiment floating around that the offense was better without the four-time Pro Bowler. That line of thinking is something the team has pushed back on multiple times.
“In terms of the first half and the second half of the season, I do think that there is an element of our offense just evolved over the course of the year,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said at the end of last season. “Part of that is just chemistry, time on task, you name it. … That is really independent of Odell.”
Mayfield and Beckham did have an interesting interaction caught on tape during last week’s loss. Mayfield picked up a gutsy first down on a QB keeper, tumbling to the turf on the sideline. He emerged after the hit and sprinted right past Beckham to do a first down sign and pump up the crowd. Beckham could have supported his QB but barely moved to get out of his way.
LeBron James Calls on Browns to ‘Free OBJ’
Lakers star LeBron James has cheered on his hometown Browns this season but is firmly in the corner of Beckham when it comes to a trade. James tweeted in support of OBJ finding a new home on Tuesday.
“OBJ will show again why he’s special. WR1 #FreeOBJ,” he tweeted.
No matter what kind of pressure the Browns receive, it’s clear Berry and his front office won’t fold and make a deal that doesn’t benefit the team. They held firm when tight end David Njoku demanded a trade last season and it turned out to be the right move long term.