NFL

Is Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr.’s Relationship Ruining the Browns?

This season was supposed to be different for the Cleveland Browns. Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. were supposed to breathe new life into a hopeless franchise. However, the reality of this season is starting to set in and fans aren’t happy.

Odell Beckham Jr. is a bit of a diva who tends to put himself and his self-promotion ahead of the needs of his team. That may be one reason why the Giants were willing to trade him last offseason. They knew Eli Manning wouldn’t be their starting quarterback much longer, and the team’s management didn’t want to keep Beckham around to potentially harm a young quarterback’s development.

The Browns apparently didn’t have that same concern with having Beckham work with their second-year quarterback, Baker Mayfield. Unfortunately for the Browns, Mayfield and Beckham don’t seem to be on the same page on the field, which may be hurting the team in a season in which the Browns finally had high hopes.

The Browns’ high hopes for 2019

The Browns haven’t had much of a reason to have high expectations over the past two decades, but this year was different. Entering this season, they were a trendy pick to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season and some people even thought they might have what it takes to make it to the Super Bowl.

While that may have been a bit too lofty of a goal, there was reason for optimism in Cleveland. Mayfield had an impressive rookie season in 2018, and adding Beckham to an already good offense that included Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb meant the team could have one of the better offenses in the league and improve upon last year’s 7-8-1 record.

The relationship between Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr.

The Browns haven’t lived up to the optimism that surrounded them this summer, despite a Week 10 win over the Bills that improved their record to 3-6. One reason for the disappointing season may be a lack of a connection between Mayfield and Beckham on the field.

Entering the Week 10 contest, Mayfield spoke to reporters about the situation with Beckham, as quoted on cleveland.com. He acknowledged that Beckham is going to see double coverage often, and they “have to find ways to format things to get him the ball and force-feed him early on to where he can make an impact.”

He continued by saying that the Browns have learned that the hard way but as the season goes on the team will “continue to improve on how to get the ball to him.” Beckham responded to Mayfield’s remarks by essentially saying he wants the ball, regardless of how many defenders are covering him, “I’m about whatever. Whatever you wanna do. I don’t care if there’s five guys on me. However I can help the team.”

Odell Beckham trade rumors are already swirling

Beckham is under contract through the 2023 season, but he has an opt-out in 2020. If he doesn’t exercise the out clause, he still has several years remaining on his contract and even though he hasn’t yet played a full season with the Browns, there are already trade rumors surrounding him.

Bombastic Fox Sports personality Colin Cowherd is one of the people leading the chorus encouraging the Browns to trade the former first-round draft pick. Among the reasons Cowherd has given for thinking the Browns should trade Beckham is they’re not succeeding in trying to force him into an offense with other stars and the Browns’ offensive line isn’t good enough for the Browns to meet the expectations they had entering this season.

Trading Beckham for draft picks would allow the Browns to potentially build up their O-line, but on the negative side, a trade would mean a young quarterback in Mayfield would be losing an elite receiver who could help him grow as a passer in the NFL — if only they can get on the same page.