In 2019, the Cleveland Browns gained a player that many thought would completely change the dynamic of the team. Odell Beckham Jr., the star wide receiver out of LSU, was destined to bring athleticism and enthusiasm back onto the field.
For the New York Giants, Beckham was the 12th overall pick in 2014 and went on to become quite the athlete on the field. Off the field was another story, as the Giants began to have contract problems, which ultimately led him to the Browns after the 2018 season.
After the Browns had been experiencing years of upsets, it was time for a star to bring life to Cleveland. Beckham’s first season went exceptionally well, as the wide receiver caught 1,035 yards with an average of 14 yards per reception. The dynamic duo of Baker Mayfield and Beckham Jr. amped up the Dawg Pound for 2020.
As there were high hopes for OBJ’s performance this past season, recent stats have proved his showing was not up to par. Compared to 2019, the LSU product only completed 319 yards, with an average of 13.9 yards per game.
Downfall of OBJ
What did not help OBJ in 2020 was his season-ending injury during Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals. A torn left ACL can take 12 months to completely heal, so even the beginning of the 2021 season could be up in the air for the Browns wide receiver.
Beckham’s injury, plus his below average performance in the beginning of the 2020 season, sparks conversation of the Browns parting ways. It is important to note Cleveland will not just cut Beckham Jr., as he already has $12.791 million of his 2021 deal guaranteed. The Browns will have to trade the him, but that will depend on what the deals look like on the table.
Money vs. Potential
In terms of money, Cleveland is very invested in OBJ. The real reason the Browns would trade him is if they do not see any greater potential in keeping him around after he heals from the injury. After losing the wide receiver in Week 7, Cleveland’s offense did not crumble. In fact, they strengthened and led the team to the playoffs.
In the past, Beckham Jr. used to be considered one of the best wide receivers in the league. Yet, when you look at Cleveland’s roster, and the stats behind other wide receivers, OBJ has not been the top performer.
That being said, it is time for the Browns to evaluate the benefits, or downside, of keeping Odell Beckham Jr. He holds a lot of value in the NFL, but the Browns did exceptionally well without him and might be without him for a section of the 2021 season.
Odell Beckham Jr. Trade to Tampa?
A recent buzz that might trigger the Browns to highly consider the trade is QB Tom Brady has spoken about his interest in an Odell Beckham Jr. trade to Tampa. After a Super Bowl win, not only have the Buccaneers raised their potential, but it is possible OBJ would be interested in joining Brady.
As of now, the future of Beckham Jr. with the Browns will depend on if the Buccaneers see potential in him after his recovery. If there are no other NFL teams that show interest in him and Cleveland does not want to trade at the value that is necessary, it could be possible Odell Beckham Jr. will stay with the Browns for another season.