Odell Beckham Jr. made headlines on Monday because of some recent remarks he made criticizing the NFL for proceeding with the 2020 season, but apparently his opinion has changed a bit in recent days.
In an interview with Lane Florsheim of the Wall Street Journal that was published on Monday, Beckham ripped NFL team owners and said they “don’t see (players) as human.” The star receiver’s opinion is — or was — that it would not be safe to play football amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can understand basketball was already in the playoffs. Five-on-five basketball in an arena is going to be more intense than regular-season games,” Beckham told Florsheim. “Hooping is different than playing an 11-on-11 contact sport where there’s 80 people in a locker room.
“We’re not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? It’s obviously for (the owners’) money. And that bothers me because there’s always been this — and I hate saying it like that — but the owners’ (attitude is), ‘Oh we own you guys,’ and just kind of that unfairness going on that they don’t see us as human. I just feel like the season shouldn’t happen and I’m prepared for it to not happen and I wouldn’t mind not having it.”
Several NFL players have already opted out of the 2020 season for a variety of reasons, and it was fair to wonder if Beckham is considering doing the same given his comments. However, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says OBJ changed his tune after seeing the precautions the Cleveland Browns have taken.
There are some key players who will not play in 2020 due to coronavirus concerns, but Beckham sitting out would have had a potentially massive impact on the Browns. Cleveland is looking to bounce back under new head coach Kevin Stefanski, and Beckham is still planning to be a part of that.
Odell Beckham Jr has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career, the most notable of which was a broken ankle he suffered in 2017. In addition to forcing him to miss all but four games that season, the injury apparently led Beckham to contemplate retirement.
Beckham spoke about the 2017 injury during a roundtable discussion with Cam Newton, Todd Gurley and former teammate Victor Cruz this week. The star receiver said he lost some of his love for the game after breaking his ankle and thought about calling it quits.
“I said this in college, I said, ‘I fear the day that they make this game a business and not what I love,'” Beckham said, via Rob Golberg of Bleacher Report. “And when I seen that for the first time after breaking my ankle, like I thought about not playing no more, like this is not really it for me because they’ve ruined the game of football for me a little bit.”
Beckham says it was the fans — particularly the young ones — that kept him going during the tough time.
“When I be on the sideline and that little kid is, ‘Do the whip, dance,’ like that s— is what fueled me,” he said. “That’s what fueled me.”
New York is a difficult place to play for any professional athlete, and it’s no secret Beckham struggled with that when he was with the Giants. He made references during the roundtable discussion to people criticizing him when he plays well and when he struggles, but we doubt he truly came close to calling it a career at age 24.
Beckham also played through an injury all of last year, but he is said to be fully recovered heading into 2020.
Odell Beckham Jr and Cam Newton have been seen training together this offseason, but the former is shooting down any talk that he might join the latter in New England.
In a number of tweets on Monday, the Cleveland Browns receiver pushed back on rumors linking him to the Patriots after they signed Newton to a one-year deal. Beckham also said that he had “unfinished business” with the Browns.
Newton posted a video earlier this month of Beckham catching passes from him on the campus of UCLA. Beckham remains under contract with the Browns through the 2023 season however.
Still, some believe that Cleveland trading Beckham away is an inevitability. For now though, the three-time Pro Bowler does not appear to be wavering in his commitment to the Browns.
Odell Beckham Jr played through a nagging injury for the entirety of the 2019 season, but that ailment is not expected to be a problem for the star wide receiver when training camp begins this summer.
Beckham underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia this offseason, and Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters in a conference call on Thursday that OBJ is 100 percent recovered.
Beckham initially suffered the core muscle injury during training camp, so it stuck with him throughout the entire season. While he still managed to catch 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns, he never seemed to be fully on the same page with Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield threw the Browns’ medical staff under the bus at one point with some comments he made about Beckham’s injury, but Beckham never agreed publicly. With a new coaching staff in place, everybody is ready for a fresh start. It sounds like Beckham will have the benefit of being fully healthy while taking part in that.
Cam Newton remains a free agent but is getting some work in with a top player.
Newton shared a video on Instagram Saturday that showed him training with Odell Beckham Jr. Their workout was taking place on UCLA’s campus in Los Angeles.
Newton is recovering from foot surgery and his inability to meet with teams may have contributed to him not signing to this point in free agency. There have been mixed reports about whether or not he would be open to a backup job. A recent report suggested he might wait until team activities begin before signing with a team, and that point is coming soon.
The 31-year-old was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by Carolina and spent his entire career with them until now. He’s a 3-time Pro Bowler and won NFL MVP in 2015. Beckham is also a 3-time Pro Bowler and entering his second season with the Cleveland Browns.
Even veteran players are prone to bad seasons. Despite their experience and talent, sometimes things just don’t click, be it an underlying injury, a bad supporting cast, or a poor scheme fit. It’s particularly troublesome when vets go through bad seasons, as NFL teams rely on their most experienced and accomplished players to drive them forward. If that doesn’t happen, the whole team suffers.
So which NFL veterans really need to turn things around and get back on track in 2020? Here are five to watch for.
Myles Garrett took a lighthearted swipe at Odell Beckham Jr. during the latest installment of “The Last Dance” on Sunday, but the star wide receiver may have gotten the last laugh.
Part of ESPN’s documentary series focused on the 1998 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz. During a tense moment in one of those games, Dennis Rodman gave Karl Malone a slap on the butt, and Malone aggressively returned the favor. Garrett joked on Twitter that Beckham thought the police officer he slapped on the rear end following LSU’s win over Clemson in the National Championship Game was going to react the same way.
The incident Garrett was referring to occurred in the locker room, when a police officer was asking LSU players to put out their victory cigars. Beckham came up behind the officer and slapped him on the backside before taunting him, which led to a warrant being issued for Beckham’s arrest. The officer later declined to press charges.
Beckham had a great comeback for Garrett. In his own tweet on Monday, OBJ noted how authorities attempted to charge him with assault, while no legal action was taken against Garrett after the Cleveland Browns star bashed Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet.
Garrett’s initial joke was funny, but Beckham one-upped him. That’s pretty good.
Odell Beckham Jr. may eventually be traded by the Cleveland Browns, but that is apparently not something the team has explored in recent weeks.
With rumors floating around that the Browns have had discussions with at least one team about a potential Beckham trade, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was told by a source that Cleveland has not had talks with anyone. The source was emphatic.
One rumor claimed the Browns have discussed details of a potential OBJ trade with the Minnesota Vikings, but that has now been shot down multiple times.
Perhaps the most interesting report about Beckham’s future in Cleveland came from Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, who was told by sources that it is only a matter of time before the Browns trade the star receiver. The belief is that Beckham is viewed as a poor fit with Baker Mayfield, whom the Browns are committed to as their franchise quarterback.
The Browns can come out publicly and say they are keeping Beckham, and that probably won’t stop the speculation. The truth is likely that they want to see how much new head coach Kevin Stefanski can get out of the team’s star-studded roster. It makes no sense to trade OBJ before Stefanski has an opportunity to run his offense.
While another set of Odell Beckham trade rumors have been debunked for now, it sounds like his long-term future may not be secure in Cleveland after all.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman spoke to multiple sources who corroborated reports that there was nothing to the rumor linking Beckham to the Vikings. Those sources did, however, tell Freeman that they believe it’s only a “matter of time” before Cleveland does trade Beckham.
The root issue is that Beckham is viewed as a poor fit with quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield’s inconsistent accuracy is frustrating to Beckham, who demands accuracy from quarterbacks to get the best out of himself.
For now, all indications are that the Browns plan to keep Beckham for 2020. He’s under contract through 2023 though, and with top wide receivers traded more than ever, the reality is Beckham may not see out his contract with Cleveland in the long run.
The Cleveland Browns continue to insist they have no intention of trading Odell Beckham Jr.
The latest trade rumor involving Beckham popped up earlier this week, with WFAN’s Marc Malusis claiming a source told him the Browns have had detailed discussions with the Minnesota Vikings about a potential OBJ trade. Both sides have all but openly denied that the talks took place, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Friday that Beckham remains “firmly in the Browns’ plans for next year.”
The Browns gave us a strong hint last month that they are not planning to part ways with Beckham, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation. There’s probably nothing anyone can say to convince fans that Beckham’s roster spot in Cleveland is safe, but the odds are heavily stacked against a trade at this point.
With the Browns having a new offensive-minded head coach in Kevin Stefanski, it makes sense that they would want to see what Beckham can do in a new system. If everything clicks, Cleveland’s offense could be as deadly as many expected it to be before Freddie Kitchens failed miserably.