CLEVELAND, Ohio – If the Browns are 100% committed to Baker Mayfield – and all the signs say they are – they should let Odell Beckham Jr. seek trade.
During Sunday’s 38-6 defeat to the Ravens, Beckham and Mayfield continued where they left off last season, connecting on just three of 10 goals for 23 yards, tied for the second-lowest yardage output of his career.
The interruption is still there and it is genuine.
Beckham again offered time on the task as the solution, but the season is upon us and there is no time for that. The Bengals arrive in town on Thursday night and it is another crucial AFC North game. A 0-2 start is almost a death knell to get the playoffs.
“Of course Sunday was not what we wanted … but more game representatives will be the way to go,”
Beckham sang that refrain all last season and it never changed. Most of Beckham’s least productive play in the NFL has come since he has been paired with Mayfield.
* His 23 yards marked the fourth time in 17 Browns games that Beckham has produced yardage in his 20s – 23.5% of his time here. To put it in perspective, in 59 games with the Giants, he only had two games in his 20s – 3.3% of the time.
* Six times in his 17 games here he has had three catches or fewer – 35% of his games. In New York, he had only three catches or fewer three times in 59 games – 5% of his games.
His lack of production in the AFC North has been particularly troubling with 21 receptions for 296 yards and two touchdowns in seven games, three of which were wins. That’s an average of three catches in 42 yards, which is far less than the Browns expected when they traded first and third rounds and Jabrill Peppers for him.
In Baltimore, Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler, did not get the ball until about four minutes into the second quarter, and by then he was already frustrated. He was marked for a face mask on his first goal and then dropped a crucial third-and-2 pass into the red zone that could have helped close the gap to 17-13 late in the first half.
He admitted he likes to get involved early.
“It’s like a shooting game that puts a couple of 3s up early and you hit one, two of them, just like God knows you might drop 60, you know what I mean?” Beckham said of early receptions. “I would love to get involved early, but it just didn’t go that way on Sunday. And like I said, sometimes you have to give your hats to the other team. They just came out and they just played better than us.”
Beckham was lost in explaining why he and Mayfield lack chemistry, but Mayfield did not exactly turn it on with anyone else. He completed just 53.8% of his passes and achieved a rating of 65.0 after throwing a touchdown pass and an interception.
“I’ve never played quarterback, so it’s very hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” Beckham said. “As a recipient, you are like ‘man, I’m open!’ or this or that, and it’s just not possible for me to think about what he’s possibly going through out there, or if there’s pressure, or if things are happening.
“I know there is a lot on his plate. I know none of us played the way we would have liked to play on Sunday. Just hand over the hat to the Ravens. They got out there, they were the better team they beat [expletive] out of us and we keep it pushed. ”
While Beckham was speaking, Mike Francesa tweeted from WFAN radio in New York that he hears that the Browns are trading in the receiver and that he is not getting cheap. He also said Beckham is not the problem, suggesting Mayfield is.
A big problem is Beckham’s cap hit this year of $ 14.25 million. Most teams are strapped in at this point, so a trade is not easy.
But Beckham has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Bill Belichick, and he is very close to Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, with whom he worked in the offseason. The Patriots have the second-highest capacity for the Browns at $ 31.627 million, so they could definitely afford him.
Beckham also loves Tom Brady, but the Bucs have only $ 3.651 million in capacity. They are also set to the receiver.
Beckham stressed that he only wants to win and that raising his hand is not about achieving his individual goals.
“It’s a tough position to be in the way I feel I’ve been misled by the world,” Beckham said. “It makes it hard to just seem like, ‘Oh, I just want the ball’ and all that stuff, when I really want to, I just want to help. I just want to be able to help this team in any way I can able to.
“You get a sense of just playing your role and you have to trust that the coaches will put you in the right position and we will be able to go from there. I’m not very loud about that thing, and it may be my fault and something I need to learn from. Like I said, this is the first game. ”
He admitted that he needs to be careful with his body language during games so that he does not appear to be breathing.
“It’s just the way my life has gone,” he said. “You have to look at everything you do. If you do not have the same reaction that someone might like, you may have a headline written about you. The spotlight will be on me, right, wrong or indifferent.”
Mayfield noted that he, Beckham and Kevin Stefanski must work together to rectify the problem.
“It requires that all three of us are just on the same page,” Mayfield said. “For myself to go through my readings, trust those readings and deliver the ball based on what they read tells me. I think we had some good one-on-one opportunities on some of these passes from Sunday, but just did not connect. Some of these were penalties, grips, and pass interference that we talked about.
“We’re working on it so we can get it fixed.”
Mayfield said any appearance of forcing the ball to Beckham – especially on opening drive in the third quarter when he went to him six times – just went where the readings led him.
“Based on whether you guys should see it, there was a lot of one on one and we take our one-on-one matchups,” he said. “I trust these guys and that’s what they get paid to do is a one-on-one game … It could have looked [like forcing], but it’s a one-on-one matchup. ”
Mayfield admitted that “it has to come naturally. Obviously you plan and plan things to get the ball in the hands of your playmakers, but when it comes to playing time, they will give us certain looks that can take it. We had a couple of games for him early and the Ravens did a good job of taking it away so we had to review the readings and get the ball in other guys hands.
“When it comes to playing time, yes, you can practice, practice, practice, and you can have a certain look all week in practice, but then comes playing time, they can show you another thing and you have to react, play and just move on. It should come naturally. ”
He recognized that it might not be the right decision to go to Beckham, even when he is gathered. The Ravens’ Pro Bowl corners, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, won their share of those matchups, and there were often better places to go with the ball.
“Yes, it’s when the alarm goes off in your head that we have a one-on-one with him and you want to get him the ball, but it has to be the right scenario and the right situation for us to do that, ” he said.
We heard the same thing last season and a frustrated Beckham is not good for the Browns.
The time may have come for them to let him try to find a new home.
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