After having plenty of time to sit back and reflect on Odell Beckham and his first year with the Cleveland Browns, the narrative is misconstrued.
Before being able to fully assess a situation, sometimes all you need to do is give it your full attention and just simply give it time. For Cleveland Browns star wideout Odell Beckham, coming over to the Browns meant something different to him.
Beckham thought he was getting sent here to die. Beckham thought the trade compensation was disrespectful.
While there is no question what Beckham is capable of doing on the field day in and day out, the big question that has always surrounded him is simply “is he a distraction?”
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Many of you, alongside myself, answered yes to that question. While sitting back after having the season crowned its champion for months now, things have changed a bit.
Are the flashy cleats and the Richard Mille watches frustrating at times? Of course they are. Is it easy to think he is not a “team guy” when he comes out and says “It’s just my time” instead of “It’s just our time” after a video about him coming off injury? Sure.
After assessing the season last year and having time to reflect, I’ve come to one conclusion: Beckham is not the headache we thought he was going to be.
If you ever played a sport as a kid and were not feeling good or you were hurting in a few areas, one thing past parents or coaches would always tell you would be “Get out there, your team needs you.”
This past season, Beckham played through all 16 games with a torn abductor as well as a torn rectus-abdominis. If that doesn’t portray a team first mindset, I am not sure what does. Keep in mind, Beckham was still able to put up a 1,000-plus yard season through both of those injuries.
Setting aside those injuries, wide receiver is a very, very dependent position. If you don’t have good blocking and good quarterback play, it can be hard to produce as a wide receiver. Again, keeping those numbers in mind and knowing how bad the blocking was, quarterback Baker Mayfield had some alarming numbers as well when not under pressure.
Even outside of the injuries, he was much more under the radar and calm this past season with the Browns. No kicking nets and no big fights. The most frustration he showed all season long was in Denver in a close and very meaningful game when he had Broncos corner Chris Harris beat on a play he should have gotten the ball, and was rightfully so upset about it.
Early in the season, Beckham was tested against the Ravens when Marlon Humphrey was in his grill and choked him down to the ground. While both Humphrey and Beckham were fined, it could have been a lot worse.
Something that lasted all season long were rumors of Beckham not being happy with the Browns with more rumors saying he wanted out and was telling players and coaches to “come get me.” While all of these rumors continued to be shot down and deemed false, the only thing Beckham was doing was telling reporters he loved Cleveland and is only worried on the current situation which was helping the team win.
Even so far this offseason, Beckham has still had to deal with rumors about him being in trade talks and all of the same noise that he dealt with this past season. While Beckham has said this is going to be his best season yet when it comes down to numbers, is it hard to see that happening. Why?
The Browns are just too loaded on offense that Mayfield will have to spread the love. All the Browns need is for him to be the true number one receiver he is and make the play when his name is called.
From now on, let’s stop the narrative on Beckham and let him get healthy. Let him grind, let him work in silence. It is 100 percent unfair to continue to hound him and try to be on him for little things any human trying to live their life would do.
Beckham just wants to win, and just like he said; he is coming back bigger, stronger and faster to help this team get to where they need to be.