Odell Beckham Jr. is a constant figure in trade rumors and the latest hypothetical deal has the Cleveland Browns star pass-catcher landing in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers.
The trade was among five ideas pitched by Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon that would shake things up in the NFL. The trade has the Browns getting a second-round pick in return for Beckham, also saving $15.8 million by sending him to the Packers. Here is part of the reasoning for the deal:
Beckham has been a superstar and could crush it with Adams and Rodgers in Green Bay, especially if he’s refreshed in a new setting. His presence would boost Green Bay’s chances of unseating the Bucs in the NFC. … The Browns would at least get him out of the conference and collect some draft capital, and his departure would likely bolster the Packers without severely changing expectations for the Browns.
Beckham is coming off a torn ACL but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. He played in just seven games last year before suffering the season-ending knee injury, recording 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
As pointed out in the trade proposal, the Browns have a reliable veteran receiver in Jarvis Landry and carry some other talent in the receiving corps in Rashard Higgins, second-year up-and-comer Donovan Peoples-Jones and speedy rookie Anthony Schwartz.
That being said, the Browns have already built a well-rounded roster despite Beckham’s large cap hit and should at least test the waters with him as part of the offense. When healthy, Beckham can still be one of the more explosive forces in the NFL and should benefit from quarterback Baker Mayfield having a greater understanding of head coach Kevin Stefanski’s offense with a year under his belt.
Mayfield Looking Forward to Beckham’s Return
There was a sentiment floating around that the Browns’ offense somehow got better once Beckham got injured, although it was simply a matter of coincidence rather than anything else. With a limited offseason, it took some time for Mayfield to fully grasp the new offense, hitting his stride in the second half of the season with Beckham on the sideline.
“I told you guys during the season, when we had that bye week, we were able to truly sit down and kind of see what we were doing well, what we weren’t. And we were able to grow from there,” Mayfield told reporters. “So timing-wise, it was unfortunate when the injury happened. But that’s why you see the growth from the first half to the second half of the year.
“I wouldn’t say that it’s because we’re not throwing to him. You look at you take one person off, you still have 10 other guys who are on the field. So it’s not about that. The narrative can be what it is, but we’re looking forward to getting back to work together.”
The two got in some work this offseason at “Camp Mayfield,” which was documented in a video released by Landry.
Browns Expect Offense to Be Clicking
For the first time in his career, Mayfield is entering the year running the same offensive system. On top of that, the Browns are returning all 11 starters offense, a rare feat in the NFL. Stefanski, who is also the offensive play-caller, is expecting big things out of the Browns offense and Mayfield.
“I hope it is significantly better,” Stefanski said, referring to Mayfield’s understanding of the playbook. “I hope (it improves) as he starts to listen to the installs with [offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt] and you are hearing it for not the second time – he has heard these plays over and over again.”
Mayfield, Beckham and the Browns get their first big test out of the gate against the Chiefs in Week 1.