The 2019 season was pinned by many around the Cleveland Browns to be a breakout season that trust them among the top teams in the league. Instead, the Browns have largely fallen flat on those expectations that has them on the verge of missing the playoffs entirely. It was also supposed to see star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. play a big part in helping transform the franchise, but the team’s struggles have remained the prominent story. All of this begs the questions about whether Beckham Jr. is starting to regret his time with the franchise.
Browns’ hype for 2019 season
In the months heading into this season, the Browns had one of the most excited fan bases in the league after what was the most successful year that the team has had in a decade.
That was taken to the next level with the front office acquiring Beckham Jr., who provided second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield with another Pro Bowl talent to utilize in the passing game that could lift their offense to the next tier. Cleveland already had in place running back Nick Chubb, who showed flashes of potential in his rookie campaign, while their defense proved to be one of the better units in the league.
Their busy offseason reasonably led to plenty of expectations being placed on the franchise to not only compete for the playoffs but be considered a serious Super Bowl contender. That hope has been met with much disappointment as Cleveland has fallen below the .500 mark, while their playoff chances have significantly dwindled, heading into the final month of the season.
It has led to many frustrating moments for the Browns offense that has drastically underperformed despite their surplus of talent. These emotions have now led Beckham Jr. to make some intriguing comments about his future in Cleveland.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s concerning comments
When the Browns acquired Beckham Jr. from the Giants, the hope was that he could fit in as a long-term piece in the puzzle alongside the likes of Mayfield, Landry, and Chubb.
However, the franchise has continued to show its unsteadiness as the season has rolled along. Beckham jr. has added to the chatter after voicing this week that he’s uncertain about his future with the Browns beyond the 2019 season, according to Jake Trotter of ESPN.
“No one knows what the future holds, like tomorrow,” Beckham said when asked after Thursday’s practice whether he wants to be in Cleveland next year. “I couldn’t tell you what’s going to happen.”
“I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here,” Beckham said. “This is exactly where I’m at now, and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.”
These comments are quite puzzling given how non-committal that he is towards the franchise. Beckham Jr. is in the first year of a five-year, $90 million deal that extends, which makes his ambiguity about where he will play next season that much more perplexing.
What lies ahead of Odell Beckham Jr.
How the 2019 season has unfolded for Cleveland has drawn concern for many reasons beyond their play on the field.
There are questions about whether Freddie Kitchens is the right coach, while doubt is starting to creep in a little about Mayfield’s ability to effectively lead the offense with his arm. Beckham Jr.’s comments show that he could be checked out mentally from envisioning anything long-term with the Browns.
He may not be putting up anywhere near his typical production with just 57 catches for 805 receiving yards and two touchdowns, but there’s no question he’s still one of the game’s most talented wide receivers. Beckham Jr. is in a situation that is entirely out of his control due to his lucrative contract and perception around him.
His dismay may be crystal clear, but it could simply come down to the Browns needing to shake things up with the coaching staff to put the franchise on track where their talent should have them.