After Odell Beckham Jr. was surprisingly traded in March of 2019 from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns, many thought the Odell of 2014-2016 would show up, where he broke many NFL receiving records, was an All-Pro twice and a three-time Pro Bowler. After leaving an inconsistent offense and quarterback in Eli Manning and the Giants, and being placed in presumably an elite offense with quarterback Baker Mayfield and his buddy Jarvis Landry, some even expected Odell to reach another level. This wasn’t exactly the case as he struggled all season.
Beckham played and started in all 16 games, the first time in his career, but only was able to post a 1,035 yard season on 74 catches. Both his receiving yards and catches were the lowest of his career of playing in at least 12 games. In 2017, Beckham had lower numbers but only played in four games due to a broken ankle he suffered against the Chargers. He also posted a career-low in at least 12 games in touchdowns with only four.
Things looked promising at the beginning of the season in Week 2, where Beckham caught 6 passes for 161 yards, including an 89-yard touchdown in Metlife Stadium versus the New York Jets. This game looked like the old Odell from the Giants. But Odell was only able to exceed 100 plus yards in one other game for the rest of the season, as he only has 2 games where he surpassed 100 yards. He even had 3 games where he had less than 30 receiving yards. One might consider a 1,000 plus yard season elite level for a wide receiver, but Odell has been posting 1,000-yard seasons since his rookie year (excluding 2017).
Beckham struggled with injury all season. In December 2019, he revealed he was dealing with a sports hernia. He underwent surgery on January 21 to address a groin and hip injury. Beckham and Baker Mayfield did not always look like they were on the same page throughout the season. Mayfield struggled to find him the ball in many of the games and develop chemistry a good WR-QB duo needs. Mayfield had a really poor season, so all the fault may not be on Beckham. But his best friend and fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry had a very solid season with 1,174 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He even received a Pro Bowl invite over Beckham. Beckham and former Head Coach Freddie Kitchens did not always see eye to eye. The Browns fired Kitchens after the season.
Kevin Stefanski, the former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator, is their new head coach. Hopefully Mayfield, Beckham, and Stefanski can all be on the same page so this Browns offense can live up to their potential this season
Beckham is now motivated to have a bounce-back year and show he is still one of the best receivers in the league. He is even predicting this season to be his best on his YouTube channel. But the Browns haven’t made any major changes to the offense, so Beckham and Mayfield need to work on developing chemistry or it might be a repeat of last season.
Featured Image Courtesy of CBS Sports
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