5 Cleveland Browns players with the most at stake in 2021
3. WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Let’s get this out of the way: Odell Beckham Jr. is still an elite wide receiver. Stats tell only a very small part of the story. In 2020 especially, he created separation at will and was constantly open downfield, yet Baker Mayfield didn’t become comfortable in the Kevin Stefanski scheme until after Beckham went down.
Mayfield was pretty bad for most of his first 25 quarters, and that’s okay to admit. Beckham did his job in spite of how Mayfield played.
Yet, statistically, Beckham has not been himself since 2016. Since that time, he’s dealt with a consistent string of injuries and not great quarterback play, in addition to poor coaching and new systems to learn. Are those excuses? Maybe, but they’re also legitimate reasons.
Beckham is coming off a serious injury and carries the seventh-highest cap hit in the league among WRs. The bottom line is he needs to produce more than he has over the past five years.
The Browns simply spend too much on their pass-catchers relative to what they get out of them. Beckham is part of that, and while he has as much talent as anyone else in the NFL, it has to manifest itself with yards and touchdown.