Odell Beckham Jr. has now forced his way off both the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, crushing his quarterbacks and coaches on his way out the door. Now that he’s with the Los Angeles Rams, it might be his last chance to prove he can be a team player, even if former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason doesn’t seem to think he can do it.
Odell Beckham Jr. has now forced his way out of two cities
Odell Beckham Jr.’s career with the New York Giants started off so well. He made the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons and was (and still is) the fastest receiver to 2,000 yards in NFL history. During his rookie season, his iconic one-handed touchdown catch against the Dallas Cowboys made him as well-known as he was talented.
In year four, things started to fall apart. Injuries cost Beckham 12 games in 2017, and a series of off- and on-field incidents strained the relationship between him and the Giants. Even after a five-year, $90 million contract extension, Beckham and the Giants continued to grow apart.
The final straw was a scathing interview with ESPN in October 2018. While inexplicably sitting next to a spaced-out-looking Lil Wayne, Beckham blasted the Giants as a whole, specifically Eli Manning.
New York traded the unhappy pass-catcher to the Browns, where he initially said he was excited to help turn the franchise around, help it win, and aid in QB Baker Mayfield’s development.
After just two and a half seasons, 114 catches, 1,585 yards, and seven touchdowns, things soured in Cleveland as well.
This time, the hatchet-man wasn’t Odell Jr. featuring Lil Wayne. It was Odell Sr. sharing an 11-minute video of Mayfield missing an “open” OBJ. And while the medium may have been different, the result was basically the same. The Browns released Beckham, and he signed with the LA Rams.
Boomer Esiason called OBJ out on the ‘NFL Today’ pregame show
After Odell Beckham Jr.’s first two professional experiences ended poorly and in conflict with his quarterback, he now takes his talents to the LA Rams so he can work with a coach and signal-caller he respects.
Once again, Beckham seems to be saying all the right things. Through various insider reports, Beckham is signaling he will do whatever it takes to win a title and earn a new long-term deal, hopefully with the LA Rams.
At least one former QB and current NFL analyst isn’t totally buying it, though. Former Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets passer Boomer Esiason didn’t hold back when discussing the WR who’s crushed his signal-callers in his last two stops. The 1988 NFL MVP said on Sunday’s The NFL Today pregame show on CBS:
There’s nothing more annoying than a wide receiver who doesn’t do what we expect him to do as a quarterback. And that’s one of the things that’s been said about OBJ while he was with the Giants and with the Cleveland Browns, that he would do his own thing on the field, and he’d create a lot of problems for the quarterbacks that he’s playing with. I’d like to think that Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford will tell him, ‘Look, this is what your role is, this is where you are.’Boomer Esiason on Odell Beckham Jr.
Dealing with the “annoying” receiver for at least the rest of 2021 now falls to Stafford and McVay, who might be two of the best-equipped people in the league to do it.
If Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay can’t handle Beckham, no one can
LA Rams QB Matthew Stafford and head coach Sean McVay are two of the few people in the NFL who should be able to handle Beckham with relative ease.
Beckham has long respected McVay. In that infamous 2018 interview, ESPN’s Josina Anderson explicitly asked if watching McVay’s offense made him more frustrated with the Giants’ Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning. Beckham responded that it did.
On the QB front, Manning was aging and physically declining in his latter days with Beckham. Baker Mayfield was entering just his second year in the NFL when Beckham came to town.
Stafford is the same age Manning was when he first teamed up with OBJ. However, the former Detroit Lions QB can still sling it all over the field. He also is a little less low-key than the youngest Manning brother, so Beckham shouldn’t be able to walk all over him.
Beckham better hope that Stafford and McVay figure out how to get the best of him. If not, this could be the talented but troubling receiver’s last stop in the NFL. A great wideout is always in demand, but one with a tried and true reputation as a quarterback killer just isn’t worth it.
If Beckham can’t make it work in LA, his once-promising career may be a flop like the Cowboys defenders he once tormented.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference