After spending the entire season recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in Super Bowl 56 during his tenure with the Los Angeles Rams, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr is looking for a new team to sign with. This past week, Beckham Jr. held a workout in Arizona and there were an estimated 12 to 14 teams in attendance. The teams that were in attendance for the workout were the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens.
Teams represented at Odell Beckham Jr.'s private workout in Arizona today included the Panthers, Giants, Patriots, Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Chiefs, Vikings, Browns and Ravens, per source.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) March 10, 2023
One of those teams in attendance, were of course, the Cleveland Browns as it was confirmed that the Browns representatives were at the workout.
Confirming #Browns were one of the teams that attended Odell Beckham Jr.'s private workout in Arizona today, doing their diligence. Many veteran receivers want to play with Deshaun Watson.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 10, 2023
Of course, people began to speculate if the Browns would actually consider bringing Beckham Jr. back to Northeast Ohio. Some fans opened the opportunity of Beckham Jr. coming back, and others well they made their feelings known about Beckham Jr. and that response is usually negative. However, it is a much different story from the media perspective. According to Mary Kay Cabot, who works for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, despite how the relationship ended Cleveland and Beckham Jr. remained on good terms.
#Browns have remained on good terms w/ Odell Beckham Jr. & he's an option; They're expected to be squarely in the mix for #Broncos FA Dre'Mont Jones (CLE native); C Ethan Pocic has a decent chance to come back: Insider https://t.co/WRGERcCtlp
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 12, 2023
So the question everyone wants to know, should Beckham Jr. consider signing with Cleveland? In my opinion, he should consider Cleveland but I don’t see it happening. Despite the relationship ending on a sour note back in 2021, he was never considered to be a problem that everyone claimed for him to be. He is not a diva, nor is he a toxic teammate to a team’s locker room. The reviews have always been positive, and players have spoken glowingly of Beckham Jr.. During his last stint in Cleveland, Browns players spoke highly of Beckham Jr. and most didn’t have a negative thing to say about when he was in Cleveland.
I spoke to one of Odell Beckham Jr’s teammates from the #Browns on the phone last night, who had nothing but great things to say about him. “He’s a great teammate,” the player said. During the drama w/ him, “you never could tell. He came to work every day and worked his ass off.” https://t.co/gZhks6jwex
— Noah Weiskopf (@BrownsWithNoah) March 13, 2023
The best season he had in Cleveland was his first season with the team. Despite the below average quarterback play from Baker Mayfield in 2019 and overall dysfunction of the Browns as a whole, He had over 1,000 yards receiving. The following season, with a better coach in Kevin Stefanski, he struggled and there are multiple factors. For starters, this was the COVID year in which the entire league didn’t have any preseason games or training camp reps so it was difficult for some teams with new coaching staffs to get used to one another. Second, Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield couldn’t get on the same page. Yes, he had over 1,000 yards receiving in his first season with Baker as his quarterback but you can make a case that Baker forced a ton of passes towards him instead of letting it come naturally.
His best game of that season came against the Dallas Cowboys as Kevin Stefanski found creative ways to get him involved. His season came to an abrupt end when he tore his ACL against Cincinnati. The following season, everything just fell apart. Once his father, Odell Beckham Sr. showed a video showing multiple times he was open and Baker Mayfield not choosing to look his way, it pretty much ended his tenure in Cleveland. Some may argue it’s was his own fault that it didn’t work in Cleveland, some will argue it was the quarterback and some will place the blame on the coach.
In all honesty, everyone deserves blame for it not working out and he found himself as a free agent. Beckham Jr. eventually chose to sign with the Los Angeles Rams, and it worked out for him because not only did he win a Super Bowl ring in the process but he was able to show people that he wasn’t the problem in Cleveland. Playing alongside quarterback Matthew Stafford and having head coach Sean McVay helped because McVay understood what he was and did his best to incorporate him in the Rams offense and it worked.
Fast forward to today, Beckham Jr. is a free agent and Cleveland has a new quarterback in Deshaun Watson. Although it is unlikely that a deal could materialize, the Browns going after him wouldn’t be a bad thing. The Browns wide receiver room is average at best, the talent is there but they lack speed and quality at the wide receiver position specifically at the slot position. If you can slide him in the slot alongside Donovan Peoples-Jones and Amari Cooper, it would be a solid wide receiver trio, if he stays healthy. Health is a concern as he has torn his ACL twice, but in the workout he did he looked bigger and his explosiveness is still there.
Beckham Jr. would have a better quarterback if he were to return, and the Browns offense will look much different in regards to their overall philosophy on the offensive side of the ball. I understand a reunion is unlikely to happen at this point, but if it were to happen I think it would work the second time around. Anything is possible.