Odell Beckham Jr.’s largely unproductive stint with the Cleveland Browns came to an end this week. A union that began with a lot of promise and tons of optimism ultimately became more known for the 29-year-old’s bizarre bedroom preferences than anything related to on-field production. And eventually it all wrapped up with a mere whimper.
One of the central reasons Beckham wanted out of Cleveland was his poor relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield. In the leadup to his exit, his father, Odell Beckham Sr., put together a comprehensive video showcasing all the times Mayfield botched what should have been successful throws to his son.
Needless to say, the video didn’t go over well among Mayfield and his supporters within the Browns.
On Friday Beckham and Cleveland’s front office agreed to a settlement that would result in him being placed on waivers Monday, after which he can be claimed Tuesday.
So how did everything go so wrong between Beckham and the Mayfield? Why was there so much bad blood? A lack of chemistry.
According to ESPN NFL insider Jake Trotter, things between Beckham and Mayfield got off to a bad start from the jump.
“But that first training camp foreshadowed problems ahead,” he wrote. “That first Saturday, Mayfield scrambled out of the pocket off a busted play with his eyes fixed downfield. But none of his receivers, notably Beckham, turned back to make a move toward him.
“‘Work the f—ing scramble drill!’ Mayfield screamed, spiking the ball in disgust.
“The crowd, which had come to see Mayfield throw Beckham touchdowns, reacted in collective stunned silence.”
Things would not get better from there. The lack of chemistry between Beckham and Mayfield would go on to define their time together.
“Mayfield still couldn’t get Beckham the ball,” Trotter continued. “Beckham still couldn’t get to the spots Mayfield needed him to be. That was on full display on the opening highlight of the video that Beckham Sr. posted. Late in the fourth quarter in Week 4 in Minnesota, the Browns were on the verge of putting away the Vikings.
“Mayfield thought Beckham would break off his route. Beckham saw the coverage differently. And with nothing but green turf in front of him, he kept running. By then, it was too late. Mayfield had already fired the ball. And the result was an embarrassing underthrow.”
Over their three seasons together, Mayfield has put together a QBR of 58 when throwing to Beckham. Meanwhile, if the ball was going to literally every other wide receiver, his QBR was a combined 85.2.
Now both men get to go their separate ways and prove that the other was the problem. Any team that claims Beckham next week also gets his $7.25 million of salary for the remainder of the season. That’s a hefty toll, but one that could prove worthwhile if he reverts to being the player he was with the New York Giants.
Now that’s a Halloween costume. https://t.co/xDN5ukIuKB
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 30, 2021
One team has been regarded as the likeliest to add Beckham over the past year should his time in Cleveland come to an end, but it remains to be seen if that ultimately comes to fruition. Other options continue to hover in the background.
Either way, though – someone is adding Beckham next week. And when they do, it’ll be interesting to see what iteration of the talented wide receiver they ultimately end up with.