Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. Undergoes Surgery

Odell Beckham Jr. struggled for much of the 2019 season. Although part of the former Pro Bowler’s issues stemmed from a shaky rapport with Baker Mayfield amid a tough season for the Freddie Kitchens-led offense, Beckham dealt with core muscle discomfort.

It was not certain whether Beckham was set for surgery, but he took care of that issue early in the offseason. The Browns announced their highest-paid player underwent core surgery on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Beckham spent much of this season not running in practice until Fridays. He also dealt with a hip injury but played in all 16 Browns games. OBJ finished with his worst full-season stat line — 74 receptions, 1,035 yards, four touchdowns — and one that was worse than his 12-game showing with the 2018 Giants.

The 27-year-old standout did not participate in most of the Browns’ offseason program last year, but with Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer noting Beckham should be expected to recover by late March, he would be on track to be ready for all or part of Cleveland’s OTAs.

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Arrest Warrant For OBJ Rescinded

The arrest warrant Odell Beckham Jr. drew in New Orleans this week has since been rescinded, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (on Twitter).

The Browns wide receiver allegedly slapping a New Orleans police officer’s buttocks after Monday night’s national championship game prompted the warrant, but NOPD confirmed that is no longer an issue for the 27-year-old standout. While this incident was captured on video and drew a fair amount of attention, it will not lead to an arrest.

In the video, a Superdome police officer is seen exchanging words with an LSU player. Beckham intervened and appears to smack the officer’s rear end. Initially, authorities originally sought a warrant for a misdemeanor sexual battery charge, but it was declined by a judge. A simple battery charge was then on the table. Now, Beckham appears to be in the clear after the officer signed an affidavit indicating he did not want to press charges, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes.

Although Beckham still has much to prove after a disappointing season, he will almost certainly not face any NFL suspension. The 2019 Browns trade acquisition caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns — career-low figures (by far) in a season in which Beckham played 16 games — and showed little chemistry with Baker Mayfield. Beckham’s 12-game 2018 season produced better numbers. Trade rumors already began to follow the ex-Giants superstar, but Beckham is expected to be one of the key players for Kevin Stefanski‘s first Browns team.

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Arrest Warrant Issued For Odell Beckham

An arrest warrant has been issued for Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. after he allegedly slapped a police officer’s buttocks (link via Ramon Antonio Vargas of the Times-Picayune). The incident took place in LSU’s locker room following the championship game and was captured on video. 

In the video, a Superdome police officer is seen exchanging words with an LSU player. In the video, Beckham intervened and appears to smack the officer’s rear end. Initially, authorities originally sought a warrant for a misdemeanor sexual battery charge, but it was declined by a judge. Now, they’re seeking to arrest him for simple battery.

At maximum, it’s a charge that would likely result in nothing more than a fine for the Browns superstar. In theory, however, it could have ramifications with the league office, if a conviction arises from the arrest.

In his first year with the Browns, Beckham notched 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns. On the whole, the Browns offense sagged under the guidance of Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after just one season at the helm. Meanwhile, rumors have swirled about Beckham’s dissatisfaction and the Browns buyer’s remorse, but both sides insist they’ll move forward together.

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North Notes: OBJ, Meyer, Roman

Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. recently shot down rumors of a trade demand, but the team never had any intention of trading him anyway, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Cleveland gave up a great deal to acquire OBJ last offseason, and the club fully intends to keep the mercurial wideout on board for what it hopes will be a rebound campaign in 2020.

With respect to Beckham’s potential sports hernia surgery, he has scheduled a January 13 consultation with a core specialist, and that is one of several opinions he’ll gather before deciding whether to go under the knife (Twitter link via ESPN’s Josina Anderson).

Now for more from the leagues’ north divisions:

  • Urban Meyer has been connected to the Cowboys’ and Redskins’ head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, and you can add the Browns to that list. It’s still unclear whether Cleveland will part with first-year HC Freddie Kitchens, but if it does, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports expects Meyer to get heavy consideration. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Meyer enjoy a strong relationship, and despite what he has said publicly, Meyer is reportedly interested in returning to the sidelines.
  • Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman has engineered one of the league’s best and most exciting offenses around MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, and La Canfora says Roman is, unsurprisingly, expected to have several head coaching interviews. Though Jackson is a transcendent talent, teams will be looking to replicate Baltimore’s approach, and Roman’s success with Jackson and other athletic QBs like Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor will have him in high demand.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press takes a look at each of the Lions‘ 16 pending UFAs and offers his take as to whether Detroit will attempt to retain them. He believes wide receiver Danny Amendola is a near-lock to return, and he thinks OL Graham Glasgow may prefer to go elsewhere.
  • We took another swing around the north yesterday, including a look at Mitchell Trubisky‘s future with the Bears.

Browns’ OBJ: “I’m Not Going Anywhere”

Maybe Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t want out, after all. On Wednesday, the mercurial wide receiver shot down rumors of a trade demand. 

[RELATED: OBJ Reportedly Tells Opposing Coaches, Players To “Come Get Me”]

I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here,” OBJ said (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). “We’ll figure this thing out. It’s just too special to leave…We’regoing to be here. We’re going to do it again. And we’re going to be what we felt like we should’ve been.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that Beckham has been approaching opposing players and coaches with a plea to “come get” him. OBJ shrugged off those questions and jokingly said that he’s talked to the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts about playing for them.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for OBJ or first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens, but the Browns are reportedly planning to keep both of them in 2020. Realistically, the Browns have little choice, when it comes to Beckham. They sacrificed first- and third-round picks for the superstar earlier this year and he still has several seasons remaining on his five-year, $95MM contract.

For now – it sounds like OBJ is staying put. But, if anything changes, Beckham reportedly wouldn’t mind a return to New York with the Jets.

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Browns To Retain Freddie Kitchens, OBJ?

For most of the last two decades, Browns fans would have been content to head into Week 15 with the 6-7 record they have today. But the 2019 iteration of the team entered the season with a star-studded roster and sky-high expectations, so the sub-.500 mark has left a sour taste in Cleveland’s collective mouth.

Since rookie head coach Freddie Kitchens has been unable to coax the expected results out of his club, which has often looked undisciplined and sloppy, speculation as to his future with the Browns has run rampant. It would not be a surprise to see GM John Dorsey part ways with Kitchens this offseason in favor of a more experienced head, but as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, that is not the current plan.

Rapoport says the team’s 4-1 record over the past five games has gone a long way towards saving Kitchens’ job. He adds that, barring a “horrific collapse or circumstance to end the season,” the Browns will go into 2020 with Kitchens as their head coach. Team management remains supportive of Kitchens, for whom growing pains were expected, and it sounds as if Dorsey and ownership will exercise patience.

Like Kitchens, star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has disappointed this season, and recent reports surrounding him have led some to wonder if he will be back in Cleveland next year. But as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, Beckham does not plan to request a trade this offseason. OBJ is, however, interested, to see what changes are made to the Browns’ staff and scheme, and if those changes — or lack thereof — are not to his liking, he could ask to be dealt.

If Dorsey does choose to deal Beckham, the Jets could be in play, and per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, OBJ is not afraid of returning to New York, despite his experiences with the Giants (video link). Gang Green would presumably not be Beckham’s first choice, but the market itself would not be a deterrent for him.

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AFC North Notes: OBJ, RG3, Steelers

Developments over the past few days point to another complicated Odell Beckham Jr. offseason, but the Pro Bowler’s top Browns confidant does not believe he’s angling for a Cleveland departure. Multiple reports linked Beckham to being dissatisfied with his fit in the Browns’ offense, but Jarvis Landry said (video link via cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot) Thursday his longtime friend is not seeking to leave the team next year. Landry has outperformed Beckham this season, despite the latter being regarded as one of the game’s premier receivers and costing far more in a trade than the ex-Dolphin did. Beckham and Baker Mayfield have yet to form a reliable connection. It appears the Browns and their highest-profile player have a long way to go to ensure they are on the same page.

Heading into the Ravens’ opportunity to clinch their sixth AFC North title, is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Should the 11-2 Ravens win their next two games, they can lock up home-field advantage for the first time in franchise history. If that happens, do not expect Lamar Jackson to play in Week 17. If they can beat the Jets and Browns, the Ravens are expected to start Robert Griffin III in Week 17 against the Steelers, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (Twitter link). This would certainly stand to aid the Steelers’ playoff hopes. RG3 has not started a game since 2016.
  • Speaking of the Steelers, they may not be able to afford Bud Dupree in free agency. Pittsburgh is unlikely to agree to terms on a long-term deal that would keep the improving outside linebacker off the market, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. The Steelers could tag Dupree for nearly $16MM but do not have much cap space to make that work. (Though, they managed to work around similar constraints in tagging Le’Veon Bell twice.) The 2015 first-round pick has recorded a career-high (by far) 9.5 sacks this season.
  • The Steelers will attempt to keep nose tackle Javon Hargrave off the market, Dulac adds. Though, the fourth-year defensive lineman is expected to hit the market. Pittsburgh is projected to possess barely $5MM in cap space in 2020. The franchise’s propensity for restructuring deals notwithstanding, the team will face a difficult task extending Hargrave and Dupree before free agency opens.
  • Jonah Williams may not play in a game for the Bengals this year, but the first-round tackle will get in some practice work to close out a lost rookie season.

Latest On Odell Beckham Jr.

There were two major reports concerning Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday. First, we heard that OBJ has been battling a “serious and painful” sports hernia that may require offseason surgery. Then, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, who has been tuned in to Beckham-related happenings in the past, dropped something of a bombshell when he reported that Beckham wants out of Cleveland and has told opposing players and coaches to “come get me.”

Per Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, two sources close to Beckham confirmed that Glazer’s report is accurate, at least as far as Beckham’s comments to opposing teams are concerned. Interestingly, one source said that Beckham made the comments during “at least” one game in October, and the Browns’ October schedule included games against the 49ers and Patriots, both of whom were in the market for wide receiver upgrades in advance of the trade deadline.

Beckham would have liked to play for the 49ers, and he holds San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan in high esteem and has developed a friendship with Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo. According to one source, OBJ was in disbelief when he was traded to Cleveland, especially since San Francisco had made several attempts to acquire him in 2018. While he tried to see the silver linings in the deal — the Browns were loading up for a championship run, he would have the opportunity to play alongside close friend Jarvis Landry, etc. — he was unsure about his fit with the Browns.

Robinson’s sources say Beckham is still uncertain about his fit — his relationship with the coaching staff and his role in the offense make him continue to question his place on the team — and that issue, along with his injury and the fact that he is not playing to the standard that he is capable of, have left him “lost” and looking for redemption. “Fame got to him, he made bad choices [and] now he has to redeem himself,” one source said. “And the road to redemption isn’t an easy one when you have an ego.”

As Robinson notes, there is no indication that the Browns have any intention of parting ways with Beckham, and even if they did, it’s unclear whether any team would offer the kind of package that would make GM John Dorsey trade an immensely talented receiver on a reasonable contract (the 49ers, with their tight salary-cap situation and relative lack of draft capital, no longer profile as an OBJ suitor). And if the Browns shake up their coaching staff this offseason, perhaps OBJ’s potential could be unlocked.

Current Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens, when asked on Monday about recent reports concerning Beckham, said that there has been no discussion of shutting OBJ down for the season due to his injury (Twitter link via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). With respect to his relationship with the star receiver, Kitchens said, “Until I hear something from Odell…mine and Odell’s relationship is fine. What I’ve seen from Odell is nothing like the reports would indicate” (Twitter link via Cabot).

Perhaps as part of his quest for redemption, Beckham did gift the entire team with Nike Air Max 720 shoes on Monday, as Cabot tweets.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Reportedly Wants Out Of Cleveland

Odell Beckham Jr. has been in the news a lot this morning. We heard earlier today that the Browns wideout has been battling a hernia injury all season and may be headed for offseason surgery, and Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk) reports that OBJ wants out of Cleveland.

When he was asked about his future with the Browns several days ago, Beckham was non-committal. He said, “I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here. This is exactly where I’m at now and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. God has a plan. In the offseason, everything will figure itself out. I feel like I’ve been here before, answering questions about the next team when I’m on a team already. That’s just something I’m going to tune out for right now. Catch me in the offseason and we’ll see what happens.”

But Glazer says Beckham has approached opposing players and coaches before (and even during) games this season and has told them, “come get me.” And considering that Glazer was the one who said the Giants would trade Beckham when everyone within the New York organization was saying they wouldn’t, that carries some weight. Glazer said, “I don’t see that relationship ending well for [the Browns] after this year.”

Of course, trading Beckham would be a tough pill to swallow for the Browns, who gave up first- and third-round picks in the 2019 draft along with Jabrill Peppers and Kevin Zeitler to acquire the star receiver and Olivier Vernon. The fact that Beckham has had a disappointing year (by his standards, at least) and would have basically forced his way out of two organizations would obviously hurt his trade value.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Will Undergo Offseason Surgery?

09:29am: ESPN’s Josina Anderson says Beckham texted her this morning and told her that he has not yet made a decision as to whether he will have surgery this offseason (Twitter link). However, he did confirm that he has been in pain since training camp.

08:30am: Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has largely disappointed during his first year in Cleveland. Although he is on pace for a 1,000-yard season, he has just two touchdowns and has caught just 55.3% of his targets, a career low. But there could be a reason for the disconnect between OBJ and quarterback Baker Mayfield.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Beckham has been playing through a serious and painful sports hernia injury that will require surgery in the offseason. The injury has not forced him to miss any game action, but it has kept him out of practice a great deal, so he and Mayfield have not had as much time to develop chemistry as they would like.

As Rapoport observes, Beckham has been on the injury report every week this season with either a hip or groin ailment. Hernias are sometimes characterized as hip or groin injuries, which adds credence to RapSheet’s report.

But as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes, the hernia injury is not the only thing keeping Beckham’s production from taking off. Her sources say the Browns’ offensive design is inherently flawed and that there is a disconnect between head coach Freddie Kitchens and offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Some believe that the team’s QBs, including third-stringer Drew Stanton, have too much influence over the game plan, and Beckham has admitted that he has had a hard time keeping his frustration in check.

Beckham did make some headlines earlier this week when he declined to definitively say that he wants to be back with the Browns in 2020. However, Rapoport (unsurprisingly) says it would be far-fetched to expect Cleveland to trade OBJ this offseason. But the club may make major changes to its coaching staff, so between that shake-up and Beckham’s surgery, perhaps Beckham can return to form next year.

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