Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditSunday, September 20, 2020

Articles tagged: Cleveland Browns

Report: Browns are ‘adamant’ about not trading Odell Beckham Jr

Odell Beckham Jr

It only took one game this season for rumors to resurface that the Cleveland Browns are looking to trade Odell Beckham Jr. Once again, however, it appears the speculation is not based on anything coming from the team.

A Browns source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the team has been “adamant” about not trading Beckham.

“It’s totally not true,” the source said. “No idea where anyone would have gotten that.”

The latest report about Beckham being shopped came from WFAN’s Mike Francesa. While Beckham was speaking with the media about his and the Browns’ disappointing performance in their Week 1 blowout loss, Francesa tweeted that he heard Beckham is on the trade block. The longtime radio host even went as far as to say Cleveland’s asking price for Beckham is wildly high.

None of that is true, according to Schefter’s source. It wasn’t true when Beckham had just three catches for 22 yards in Cleveland’s embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, either. Beckham bounced back with four catches for 74 yards in Thursday night’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He scored a 43-yard touchdown and could have had another if not for a brutal missed pass interference call.

Beckham is under contract with the Browns through 2023. The trade rumors simply aren’t going away, and one recent report claimed it is only a matter of time before the two sides part ways.

Odell Beckham Jr. on trade block with Browns?

Odell Beckham Jr

Rumors of the Cleveland Browns trading Odell Beckham Jr. have existed seemingly since the moment they acquired the star wide receiver, and it took only one game in the 2020 season for them to pop back up again.

Beckham was close to a non-factor in Cleveland’s 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. He told reporters on Tuesday that “more game reps will be the way to go” in getting him and Baker Mayfield on the same page. As Beckham was discussing his and the team’s disappointing performance, WFAN’s Mike Francesa tweeted that he has heard the Browns are looking to trade OBJ.

Francesa added that the asking price for Beckham is high, and he criticized the Browns for being the “problem” rather than their Pro Bowl receiver.

Beckham’s three catches came on 10 targets, which is the bigger concern. While he managed to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last season, Beckham has never truly established chemistry with Mayfield. A lot of that is a result of Cleveland’s offense struggling as a whole, but it’s a concern nonetheless.

One report not all that long ago said it is only a matter of time before the Browns part ways with Beckham. The 27-year-old is under contract through 2023, but the number of people who think he’ll make it that far in Cleveland is dwindling by the day.

Browns coach has blunt assessment of poor opener

Kevin Stefanski

Kevin Stefanski’s debut as an NFL head coach did not go well on Sunday. The Cleveland Browns faced a tough test against the Baltimore Ravens, and Stefanski feels the game was a disaster all around.

After his team’s 38-6 loss, Stefanski offered a very blunt assessment of the performance. The coach revealed during the week that he would be calling the plays for the Browns, and a reporter asked him how he felt that went.

“It is hard to say we did anything well. We only scored six points, and that is not good enough in the National Football League,” Stefanski said. “I would just say we have to get right back on it. We have to find out what happened, why it went wrong and get some solutions here because we have a game coming Thursday night.”

The Browns ran the ball fairly well with their tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb had 60 yards on 10 carries and Hunt had 72 yards on 13 carries. Other than that, very little went right. Baker Mayfield completed just 21-of-39 passes for 168 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Cleveland had no answers for Lamar Jackson, but the offense put the defense in compromising positions with three turnovers. The Browns also committed eight penalties. Stefanski took responsibility for the sloppy play.

“We did a lot of things that losing teams do,” he said. “We turned it over three times. Eight penalties, three of which were personal foul facemasks, which were killer. Did not play complementary football. Put our defense in a tough spot a bunch. That is my responsibility. That is on me.”

The Browns tried to temper expectations heading into 2020, but it’s going to be tough to get their fans to be patient. The offense is still loaded with talent, and we saw the way fans turned on them during last year’s disastrous season. A bad loss to the Ravens isn’t the end of the world, but Cleveland couldn’t have asked for a much worse start.

Kevin Stefanski says he will call plays for Browns

Kevin Stefanski

Kevin Stefanski has been tasked with fixing an offense that seemingly has an infinite amount of potential, and the first-year head coach is taking on plenty of responsibility heading into Week 1.

Stefanski revealed on Friday that he will be calling plays for the Browns at the start of the season. As Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Browns noted, he indicated that play-calling will be a collaborative effort with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. Stefanski will clearly have the final say, however.

Stefanski called plays last season for a Minnesota Vikings offense that finished eighth in the NFL in points per game. They were also sixth in the league in rushing, and Kirk Cousins had the fourth-highest passer rating in the NFL at 107.4. The Browns hired Stefanski to bring some of that magic to Baker Mayfield and his supporting cast.

Freddie Kitchens did not call plays in his lone season as Browns head coach last year. He made it a point to not take over play-calling duties, and there was said to be serious disconnect between him and his former offensive coordinator.

It makes sense for Stefanski to handle play-calling out of the gate. He has plenty of experience with it, and he can always give more responsibility to Van Pelt if things go poorly. It’s easier to hand off some play-calling to your offensive coordinator during the season than it is to take responsibility away.

Report: Browns have interest in Logan Ryan

Logan Ryan

Logan Ryan has had a very quiet market this offseason, but that could be about to change.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, the Cleveland Browns have interest in Ryan. The defensive back’s $10 million asking price has been a problem, but the Browns would be interested at a lower price.

The Browns’ urgency may also be increased by Grant Delpit’s season-ending injury. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Ryan recently changed agents to Joel Segal, who also represents Delpit.

The 29-year-old defensive back was excellent for the Titans last season. He made a career-high 113 total tackles along with four interceptions and 4.5 sacks.

Interestingly, Ryan has some unpleasant history with Browns fans. That probably won’t stop him from signing if the money’s right.

Grant Delpit suffers torn Achilles tendon

Cleveland Browns helmet

The injury news on Grant Delpit is as bad as feared.

Delpit was carted off the field during a Cleveland Browns practice on Monday. There were concerns that he suffered a torn Achilles tendon, and that has unfortunately been confirmed.

Delpit will now be unable to play in his rookie season due to the injury, which typically requires a year of recovery.

Delpit was the No. 44 overall pick by the Browns in April’s draft. The safety was a three-year starter at LSU and a key contributor for their national championship team. He recorded 65 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Delpit was expected to start at free safety for Cleveland. In addition to Delpit, the Browns also have seen cornerback Kevin Johnson suffer from a lacerated liver.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says team was overhyped last season

The Cleveland Browns enter 2020 with much more muted expectations after a lot of hype turned into a disastrous 2019 season. That’s perfectly fine with owner Jimmy Haslam.

In a Zoom call Sunday, Haslam admitted that both he and the Browns got caught up in the hype too much last year, but have learned lessons ahead of the 2020 season.

“I think we probably all of us, including ownership, learned a lesson last year about tempering expectations,” Haslam said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “I don’t think we managed that as well as we should have. I think you have to be realistic. This team has not been to the playoffs since 2002, and we’re in a tough division. Baltimore and Pittsburgh are arguably two of the best teams and best franchises. I think you have to be realistic there.”

You may recall that one of their rookies was talking about a Super Bowl appearance, and there was lots of talk about the team possibly winning the division. Instead, the Browns fell flat and finished a disappointing 6-10.

Haslam is clearly already putting what he learned into practice. Expectations for the Browns are significantly lower in 2020, even though early signs are positive. Without the flashy moves and the scrutiny, they could be an under-the-radar team to watch this season.

Browns GM has high praise for Baker Mayfield heading into season

Baker Mayfield is entering what could be a pivotal year under his third different head coach, and Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry feels the quarterback has done everything in his power to prepare for it.

During a conference call with reporters this week, Berry praised the work Mayfield has put in this offseason.

“Baker has really been outstanding this entire spring and summer,” Berry said, via Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. “His level of engagement with the coaching staff, getting up to speed mentally with the system, his interaction with his teammates [has been impressive]

“He’s done a really, really nice job of almost creating community … really bringing guys together, as difficult as that can be as everybody’s been trying to function virtually. We’re all really excited about him entering the year.”

In addition to focusing on preparation and learning new head coach Kevin Stefanski’s system, Berry says Mayfield has also bulked up.

″He added four pounds of lean mass, cut body fat, came back in terrific shape,” the GM added.

Mayfield played outstanding as a rookie, but he and former Browns coach Freddie Kitchens could not recreate that magic last season. The former Oklahoma star has taken a much quieter approach this offseason than years past, and he’s drawn praise from numerous people for the way he has handled himself.

After throwing 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season, Mayfield needs to prove he can protect the ball. The Browns also have to prove they can protect him. All indications are that he has done what he needs to thus far heading into 2020.

David Njoku seemingly addresses trade demand with tweet

David Njoku

David Njoku said through his agent earlier this month that he wants the Browns to trade him, but the tight end seemingly wants the people of Cleveland to know it is nothing personal.

On Monday, Njoku sent a tweet expressing his appreciation for Browns fans and the city of Cleveland. The tweet seemed to be in direct relation to the trade rumors surrounding the former first-round pick.

Njoku’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on July 3 that the Browns have been informed Njoku wants a trade. No reason for the demand was given, but there has been speculation that Njoku is worried about his role in the offense with the Browns having signed veteran tight end Austin Hooper this offseason. They also have two stud wide receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and a star running back in Nick Chubb, so perhaps Njoku feels there are not enough balls to go around.

Though he was limited to just four games because of injuries last season, the Browns reportedly want Njoku to remain with the team in 2020. The 24-year-old caught 56 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns in 2018 and will be viewed as a breakout candidate again entering this season. You can understand why Cleveland would want to keep him around.

Report: Myles Garrett, Browns close to $125 million extension

Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns have been discussing the possibility of a contract extension for several weeks now, and the two sides are reportedly on the verge of an agreement.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Garrett and the Browns are closing in on a five-year contract extension worth $125 million. While there are still some hurdles to clear, the deal is expected to be finalized in the near future.

Garrett still has two years remaining on his rookie deal, but he is scheduled to make just $4.6 million this season. There was speculation that he could sign a massive contract worth $25 million annually, and that is reportedly what the Browns are giving him. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is currently the highest-paid defensive lineman in football at $22.5 million per year. Garrett’s deal could be closer to that number when you factor in the two years he has remaining on his rookie contract.

There was some question about whether the Browns would want to commit to Garrett long-term after the ugly altercation he had with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph last year, but that is apparently not a concern for the team. Aside from that incident, Garrett has lived up to the hype in Cleveland. The former No. 1 overall pick has 30.5 sacks and six forced fumbles through his first three NFL seasons.