To say there’s been some drama with Odell Beckham Jr. since he joined the Browns might be an understatement. There were reports toward the end of the season that he wanted out of Cleveland and was asking rival teams to come get him, although he emphatically denied those.
The Browns gave up a lot to acquire him from the Giants, so it was unlikely they would’ve been too receptive to a trade demand. Now the old regime of Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey are out, and Kevin Stefanski and new GM Andrew Berry are in. Although neither of them were involved in acquiring Beckham, it sounds like they very much want him around. The new duo in charge “don’t want to trade him” and “don’t plan to trade him,” according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link).
That being said, Rapoport made it seem during his NFL Network hit that the plan isn’t necessarily set in stone, and could change depending on Beckham’s decisions this offseason. In his tweet, Rapoport says the team wants to keep him in the fold, but “how present he is this offseason and for OTAs may go a long way in determining that.” Interestingly, Rapoport says Stefanski recently met with the star receiver to “lay out some expectations” moving forward.
The Browns apparently want to see “some level of engagement” from Beckham as Stefanski installs his offense, which includes an “increased presence at OTAs” and an “increased presence at offseason conditioning.” Last year, Beckham skipped almost all of OTAs and didn’t report until the team’s mandatory minicamp. It’ll be interesting to see if that changes this time around, and it could be an indicator of whether guys on the team are buying into what Stefanski is selling. It still seems like it’s not quite guaranteed Beckham is a Brown in 2020.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.