The 2019 season has not gone as hoped for the Cleveland Browns, and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. epitomizes that possibly more than anyone else on the roster.
Beckham has not been bad in his first season with the Browns, but he has also not put up the numbers that many expected when the Browns acquired him in an offseason trade. With four games left on the schedule, Beckham is on pace for 76 receptions, 1,073 yards and three touchdowns — which would all be career lows for a 16-game season, but would be on par with his 2018 season with the New York Giants. Of course, he only played 12 games for the Giants last year.
Cleveland’s ongoing struggles have led some to fear that this season could be a one-and-done situation for Beckham and the Browns. The veteran wide receiver was asked about what the future holds on Thursday, and while he did not come out and demand a trade, he also did not exactly express his undying love to the franchise (quotes via Jake Trotter at ESPN.com):
“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.
“I feel like I’ve been here before, asking questions about the next team while I’m on a team already. That’s something I just tune out for right now. Catch me in the offseason and see what happens.
“What’s the future hold? I don’t know that. I don’t know the answers for that. Right now I’m just taking it a day at a time, trying to finish the season healthy, win the last four games and see what happens.”
For some Browns fans this is a sure sign that Beckham is as good as gone once the season is completed. But given that he was the centerpiece of the biggest trade that general manager John Dorsey has pulled off during his time in Cleveland, it is hard to see the Browns giving up on Beckham so quickly.
Beckham is very much his own player — both on and especially off the field — and he comes off as someone who is thoughtful and knows exactly what he is saying when he is in front of a microphone.
So while it is true that no one knows “what the future holds” for Beckham (or for many players on the team) the agita over his comments are likely much ado about nothing.