Odell Beckham Jr. has put together an impressive start to his career that has earned him recognition as one of the game’s best wide receivers. The Cleveland Browns Pro Bowler has been one of the most dynamic playmakers who has many highly productive campaigns ahead. That all nearly came to an abrupt end as one situation almost led to him retiring from the NFL in the prime of his career.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s impressive start to NFL career
Through his first six seasons in the league, Odell Beckham Jr. has been one of the most productive wide receivers in NFL history.
During his five seasons with the New York Giants, Beckham Jr. produced at a historical level with at least 90 catches, 1,300 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three years. That span in his career saw him set numerous team and league records such as being the fastest player to reach career receptions marks from 100 on through 250 while being the fastest to reach 4,000 and 5,000 career receiving yards.
Beckham Jr. has since moved on from that situation after being traded to the Browns last year. However, during his stretch with the Giants that he seriously contemplated retiring from the NFL.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s broken ankle nearly pushed him into retirement
It hasn’t been a clear path for Odell Beckham Jr. over the last few years as injuries have hampered him.
That saw him experience the worst injury of his career in his fourth season in the league as he suffered a broken ankle in the fourth game of the 2017 campaign. Beckham Jr. was forced to miss the rest of the season, which that situation nearly led to him step into retirement in the prime of his career as voiced during a recent roundtable talk with Victor Cruz, Todd Gurley, and Cam Newton.
“I said this in college, I said, ‘I fear the day that they make this game a business and not what I love,’” Beckham said. “And when I seen that for the first time after breaking my ankle, like I thought about not playing no more, like this is not really it for me because they’ve ruined the game of football for me a little bit.”
It was much more than football during that time impacted Beckham Jr. as he faced much criticism for his antics that shifted the attention away from the game. That, combined with the Giants’ struggles to find success, compounded toward him losing some of that personal motivation for his craft.
Despite that, Beckham Jr. has pushed through to continue to prove to be one of the game’s best wide receivers with a chance to build something special in Cleveland.
Odell Beckham Jr. focused on bounce-back 2020 season
Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off a tough first year with the Cleveland Browns that saw the team struggle to live up to the hype.
That included Beckham Jr. having difficulty breaking through and being a productive piece to the offensive game plan. He racked up his fifth 1,000 receiving yard campaign of his career, but there was something off physically as he dealt with a sports hernia injury all season that required offseason surgery.
The 27-year-old is heading toward the 2020 season with a clean bill of health with an opportunity to get back to producing he did during the first few years with the Giants. If the Browns hope to take the next step offensively, Beckham Jr. will have to be a significant puzzle piece. The opportunity is there for Cleveland to finally become a contender in the AFC; it’s on them to fulfill their potential.