The Cleveland Browns put together a very impressive season this year. It was one that Browns fans have not seen for a very long time. The Browns finished 11-5 and clinched a playoff berth. Cleveland then took down division rival Pittsburgh but fell short in the Divisional Round to the Kansas City Chiefs. What’s even more intriguing about their success is that they did it without star receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham went down in Week 7 with a leg injury. After a few tests and scans, it was determined Odell had torn his ACL. The real question is whether or not the Browns should move on from the receiver or continue with him.
Before Odell Beckham Jr.’s Injury
Here are Beckham Jr.’s stats before injury:
Team Record: 4-2
REC YDS: 319
For only playing six full games, those stats aren’t bad, but they aren’t good for a talent like Odell. Not that anyone is expecting a 2000 yard season, but 23 receptions on 43 targets (53.5 catch%) could be better.
After Odell Beckham Jr.’s Injury
Team Record: 11-5
But, since we can’t look at Odell’s stats since he didn’t play, we can look at Baker Mayfield’s stats. Mayfield had two 200+ yard games through Weeks 1-7. But through Weeks 8-17, Mayfield totaled six 200+ yard games (including two 300+ yard games). It is clear that Baker’s play improved drastically.
Yes, the Browns should trade Odell Beckham Jr. away to another team. Not only for production reasons (his numbers have been on a downslope since his rookie year with the Giants) but for locker room interactions. A player like Odell has to be approached with caution. Beckham is a vocal athlete, and vocal athletes tend to lead to issues in the media. When a team is on the rise like the Browns, they want to be known for the positives, not the negatives.
A trade would be smart for both parties. Beckham would have a chance to get back to his breakout form, and the Browns could receive draft capital to get Mayfield a new weapon on the outside to work with.
Here is a bold prediction: if the Browns continue to keep Odell Beckham Jr., they will not win a Super Bowl.