Part 1: Paging Mr. Beckham Jr ... New England is on the phone!
Image C/O Fox NFL In the summer of 2019, the Cleveland Browns made a big splash. After years of futility the franchise spun around and brought in a slew of known veteran players to try and change the fortunes of one of the most known brands in the NFL. The most notable piece, a receiver from the New York Giants named Odell Beckham Jr.
The expectation was that OBJ combined with the prowess of Baker Mayfield, the umpteenth different QB for the Browns in the last decade, would bring the “lull you to sleep” Browns offense to life and drive them to at least a playoff appearance if not perhaps a trip to the Super Bowl. Except one problem, OBJ and Mayfield were never exactly on the same page.
Now, the Browns sit going into Week 3 of the 2020 season and find themselves with the same issue. OBJ is here and Mayfield is there. So, is the grand experiment coming to its close? Many of the top NFL analysts think so and believe they know where OBJ could go.
ESPN host Max Kellerman even has gone as far as on his show First Take to say it out loud. Kellerman said, “I think Cleveland should think very carefully about trading Odell to the Patriots now instead of later. Odell Beckham has no connection with Baker Mayfield, you can see that … If Belichick could put a receiver like that with Cam Newton, there’s the next Patriots dynasty.”
Belichick has a history of rebuilding forlorned receivers, just look at Randy Moss for example. Moss came to New England with high praise for his talents but issues of connectivity with his QB and some personality issues to which many associated to just frustration with his on-field struggles.
After the remaining season in Foxboro, Moss was considered one of the best receivers in the NFL and paired with Tom Brady, who was missing a No. 1 guy, broke NFL records and lead the Patriots to a historic undefeated regular season in 2007 before that bizarre loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. That continued for a few more years to follow before Moss would “journeyman” through a return to Minnesota, one year in Tennessee and then a spell out west with the 49ers, which would see Moss go back to the Super Bowl one more time before retiring after the 2012 season.
Prior to the 2007 season Moss was considered a premier player and one of the best current receivers in the game. After the 2010 season, his last in New England, Moss was considered one of the best receivers in the history of the game and a lock for being a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection.
Belichick has a way!
All that being said, with what Belichick and McDaniels are capable of doing in New England and the needs and desires of Odell Beckham Jr. it seems Foxboro would be the best place for him. And if the first two weeks of the season are any indication, what Newton has done with N’Keal Harry shows his ability to lift players up as well too. Harry, for many Patriots fans, was on his way to receiving a “busted draft pick” title. Yet paired in the slot with Julian Edelman in this new Newtown dynamic offense, he looks like one of the best young players in the NFL. OBJ may have been around for a few seasons more, but he is still yet to truly prove the talents we expected from him. Maybe some time in Foxboro will change all that.