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#pounditThursday, December 1, 2022

Did Odell Beckham Jr. break apart Browns team?

Odell Beckham Jr. in a blue jersey

Jan 17, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) reacts before a NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The actions of Odell Beckham Jr.’s father last year helped set his son free. But they also may have destroyed the Cleveland Browns too.

Last season, Beckham Sr. posted a video on social media in early November to highlight how poorly utilized the receiver was by Baker Mayfield. The video pushed the Browns to get rid of Beckham, who ended up signing with the Los Angeles Rams and winning the Super Bowl.

In a story published on ESPN Thursday, Jake Trotter examined Mayfield’s relationship with the Browns. Trotter pinpointed Beckham’s exit as the moment that “divided” the Browns, ultimately hurting Mayfield.

Many Browns players were fond of Beckham and wanted him to remain with the team. Him forcing his way off the team, while Mayfield remained, hurt team chemistry.

Trotter wrote that the “way Beckham exited Cleveland ‘poisoned the well’ for Mayfield with some teammates.”

Browns players may have loved Beckham, but that is part of what makes him so difficult. He is so popular and has so much pull that him being anything less than a model teammate can seriously undermine a team.

The Giants got tired of Beckham and traded him to Cleveland. Beckham got tired of being underutilized and forced his way off the Browns, apparently leaving a fractured team behind. The Rams were able to utilize Beckham well, but if they re-sign him, how long will that last? If history tells us anything, probably not longer than a few years.

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