Odell Beckham Jr. is a wide-receiver in the NFL who currently plays for the Cleveland Browns, after a trade was completed by the New York Giants in the 2019 offseason due to his constant on and off the field distractions. The Browns, who were coming off an impressive 2018 campaign led by first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — Baker Mayfield — and co, were presumed by many to march their way to a Wildcard berth by claiming the thrown to the AFC North. With LSU star wide-receivers, and close friends off the field, OBJ and Jarvis Landry reunited, Mayfield having full season of training and the acquisition of elite RB Kareem Hunt, there was nothing but praise and high expectations for Cleveland. However, they have fallen under the pressure and high expectations, along with numerous reports that have described OBJ wanting out of Cleveland after his first season. Is it just me, or have we seen this all before?
Going to the Dawg Pound
Odell was a fan-favorite in New York for the Giants since his rookie season in 2014, where he won Offensive Rookie of the Year. From 2014-2018, in his tenure with the Giants, he caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 TDs, including the famous one-handed leaping catch in his rookie season, against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, that put him on the ‘map’ as an elite wide-receiver and sporting icon. He was praised for his dominance and his swagger that he carried with him on and off the field, which would soon become his downfall in New York. His disruptive antics could no longer go unnoticed, as he would be involved with partying, drugs, women, as well as controversially celebrating touchdowns, such as his imitation of a dog urinating. GM Dave Gettleman was running out of patience with his All-Pro receiver, with his influence over younger players in the locker room growing as an ever larger concern. In 2018, teammates like WR Sterling Shepherd and rookie RB Saquan Barkley, who were otherwise considered humble and grateful to be playing in the NFL, begun to imitate Odell’s behavior as they started to develop conceited attitudes and would flex their wealth with fancy jewelry. Odell would openly criticize his starting quarterback, Eli Manning, for his inability to make plays. After the 2018 season, OBJ expressed his interest in leaving New York. Ultimately, it became apparent that this was a relationship that could not be mended, as the bridges were burned. The New York Giants of the NFC East completed a trade that would send the wide-out, as well as DE Olivier Vernon, to the Cleveland Browns in the AFC North, a conference and division that the Giants seldom face in the regular season, for RG Kevin Zeitler, SS Jabrill Peppers along draft picks in the first round (No. 17 overall in 2019), as well as a third round pick (No. 95 overall in 2019). GM Dave Gettleman continues today feeling confident in the trade, as he claims the organization “knocked it out the park” by moving on from Odell Beckham Jr. per The Guardian. In relation to the latest rumors that are erupting from the Browns organization about OBJ wanting out, I can confirm that this trade was, indeed, a home-run.
I’m Ready, Depression ~ Spongebob Squarepants
After posting a 2-2 record through Week 4, the initial playoff hopes that were derived from the summer, quickly became a fallacy, as opposing teams begun exposing the roster’s massive holes; the most notable being the offensive line and the lack of protection for QB Baker Mayfield. The Browns would lose four straight games leading into Week 10. Their failures are not the result of the lack of talent, but the lack of chemistry, coaching, and confidence. Offensive Coordinator-promoted-Head Coach Freddy Kitchens has shown that he simply is incapable of leading an entire NFL roster. He was a great offensive coordinator, but it seems that the pressure of being the head coach is just too great for Kitchens to handle. Thus, likely leading to either the termination of his contract, or the demotion to an assistant role. To our salt into the wound, there is also the immense controversy of star DE Myles Garrett, who struck Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet, which Garrett forcibly separated from his shoulders. Garrett was suspended indefinitely without pay, barring further disciplinary actions that may transpire in the near future. Last, but not least; as for OBJ, due to Mayfield being unable to have the time and space to throw the ball, has faced a drastic decline in his statistics, being targeted only 108 times, as the team’s WR1, and catching 59 passes for 844 yards and 2 TDs. In comparison, the lowest amount of times OBJ was targeted in an NFL season was 124 in his last season with the Giants after playing 12 games (one less than the amount of games he’s played in 2019 heading into Week 15). On a side-note, it has recently been revealed that he is playing through a sports hernia, one significant enough that may require offseason surgery. If the rumors are true that Odell wants out of Cleveland due to the under-utilization of his talents, then the question of whether his offseason procedure will play a factor in his trade value is best answered by Daniel Bryan of the WWE: “Yes.”
A Nice Jester
The criticism and fault of Odell’s failures are absolutely extended beyond his grasp, as numerous other playmakers on the Browns’ roster are playing with little productivity, especially on offense. Would it not be for the running back tandem of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, the Browns would certainly not have six wins, nor the four wins that came from defeating all of their division rivals in the AFC North. With that said, Odell is a cancer on and off the field in the NFL. According to the reports of Odell seeking the departure from Ohio reveal that he’d like to for a competitive team. Sources linked his expressed fondness of the Seahawks, Patriots, 49ers, and the Packers; noting that all teams head into Week 15 with 10 wins and less than, or equal to, 3 losses. The most popular report, acknowledged by Undisputed’s Skip Bayless, is that Odell would be interested in catching passes from Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay with the Packers. While the deal would make sense, given the Packers mediocrity at the wide receiver position, the trade seems unlikely due to OBJ’s bad rapport and the team’s zero tolerance towards undisciplined behavior. Comparable to likewise troublemaking receiver, Antonio Brown, teams will have a hard time overlooking his distracting and negative qualities, which would be required in order to make such a trade. It is also shown that the team he’d be traded to would be his third team in just as many years. Odell does not support the value that would be needed in order for a team to receive him in a trade, as the inclination would be that he’d likely render as a one-year showing for that organization before he decides he wants to play elsewhere. With his toxicity, perhaps the Browns would be willing to dish Odell to a desperate suitor for pocket change, similar to how the Pittsburgh Steelers traded WR Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders for draft picks in the third round (No. 66 overall in 2019) and the fifth round (No. 141 in 2019). With all of this information, it can be confidently states that Odell Beckham Jr.’s tenure with the Cleveland Browns will most likely be short lived, and that his behavior is worse than Antonio Brown’s.