The Cleveland Browns acquired Odell Beckham Jr. two offseasons ago with the hopes that the star wide receiver could help the franchise end a playoff drought and shift the culture in combination with other key pieces like Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry — his best friend.
The OBJ experiment in Cleveland has had mixed results, mostly due to injuries that have kept Beckham from producing at his expected level. Beckham dealt with multiple injuries last season as the Browns stumbled to a 6-10 finish and then tore his ACL in October, ending his second year in Cleveland early.
However, Beckham, who has mostly been quiet during the Browns’ historic run to the postseason, was one of the team’s most vocal supporters on Sunday night as they blasted the Steelers 48-37.
Beckham live-tweeted the game, following along every step of the way during the Browns’ first playoff win in more than 25 years. He cheered on individual players and during the big moments.
But after it was all over, Beckham could only imagine what Cleveland looked like.
Dustin Fox provided just that, with a video showing fireworks going on in downtown Cleveland after the Browns pulled off the victory.
The Browns were also greeted by around 100 fans early in the morning on Monday.
Odell Beckham’s Future in Cleveland Always a Question
Beckham has heard his name mentioned in trade talk basically since arriving in Cleveland. That hasn’t stopped despite his injury, with many pointing to the Browns success him as a preseason to pull the trigger on a deal.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry has been on the job for a year, but already has grown tired of the questions surrounding Beckham.
“I feel like this is a question I’ve literally addressed every week since I took the job,” Berry told reporters in Novemeber. “So really at this point in time, I really don’t see a difference.
“Honestly, our focus with Odell, Odell is one of the best receivers in the NFL,” he added. “He played really good football for us before he was injured. He’s done a fantastic job with his teammates at practice, he’s embraced the organization, he’s under contract for multiple years. So our focus with Odell is making sure he recovers from the ACL tear. We want him to be healthy and ready to go next year. But we’re pleased with him.”
Browns Get ‘All Clear’ With Latest COVID-19 Testing
The Browns have had the last few weeks severely affected by COVID-19 issues. In Week 16 against the Jets — a potential playoff-clinching game — the Browns had to sit their top four wide receivers due to contract tracing protocols.
The Browns were crippled by positive tests this week, with head coach Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio and star cornerback Denzel Ward missing the game. But Ian Rapoport said the team got the all clear and could have the worst behind them.
Cleveland is a double-digit underdog next week against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. The Browns are listed as 10-point underdogs, per Odds Shark. Cleveland is +2,500 to win the Super Bowl, the highest odds of the remaining teams by far. The Chiefs are the favorite at +200.