- How the Baker Mayfield-Odell Beckham Jr. on-field Browns relationship fell apart (ESPN) - It was Week 9 of the 2019 season, and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield dropped back to pass. The Browns’ season — one that carried so much hype and hope after the blockbuster trade for Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason — was on the line. It was fourth-and-4, and down the sideline, Beckham sprinted past Denver cornerback Chris Harris. OBJ was open. Beckham was visibly incensed not to get the ball at such a critical moment. And in the hours and days that followed, Mayfield was relentlessly panned. Why didn’t he throw it to Beckham? Especially when OBJ was wide open? Except, Beckham had run the wrong route. Or, to put it another way, his own route.
- Odell Beckham Jr. fallout won’t derail Kevin Stefanski’s long-term vision: Bill Cowher (Beacon Journal) - Hall of Famer Bill Cowher isn’t buying arguments about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s divorce from the Browns being the fault of coach Kevin Stefanski or quarterback Baker Mayfield. “He looks selfish,” Cowher said of Beckham during a phone interview Thursday afternoon with the Beacon Journal.
- Odell Beckham Jr. is no longer a Brown, and everyone’s at fault but no one is to blame (cleveland.com) - What led to Odell Beckham Sr. posting the video, which served as the beginning of the end of his son’s time in Cleveland?
- GM Andrew Berry says Odell Beckham Jr.’s frustration had been building, didn’t see “productive reconciliation” happening (Browns Zone) - When receiver Odell Beckham Jr. joined the Browns in 2019, he was supposed to make spectacular one-handed catches, take over games and transform the offense. He provided a few highlights and a couple of big games in 2½ years, but spent much of his tenure injured, frustrated and not nearly as productive as expected. General manager Andrew Berry ended the failed experiment Friday, announcing he will release Beckham.
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers blasts ‘woke mob’ over COVID-19 news on Pat McAfee show, rips NFL’s ‘draconian’ protocols (Green Bay Press Gazette) - In his first remarks since he tested positive for COVID-19, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on the “Pat McAfee Show” Friday that he’s been taking monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, zinc and Vitamin-C and “I feel pretty incredible.” The Green Bay Packers quarterback said he had symptoms starting Tuesday and did not feel well as late as Thursday but feels much better as of Friday. In response to the revelation that he’s not vaccinated for COVID-19, Rodgers railed against many of the procedures implemented by the NFL for those deemed unvaccinated.
- Odell Beckham Jr.’s next NFL team? Here are six ideal fits for the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver (NFL.com) - Odell Beckham Jr., who coincidentally turned 29 years old on Friday, will be subject to waivers. If he goes unclaimed, which will likely depend on how the Browns restructure his contract before officially cutting the cord, OBJ will become an unrestricted free agent. It’s impossible to say how this plays out in the moment, but there’s no doubt numerous rosters could use a receiver of Beckham’s talent for the second half of the season. With that in mind, here are six teams that could be ideal fits for the play-making wideout.
- Jets confirm Marcus Maye’s season-ending torn Achilles (nj.com) - Jets safety Marcus Maye indeed tore his Achilles tendon in Thursday night’s 45-30 loss at the Colts, head coach Robert Saleh confirmed Friday. Maye’s 2021 season is over. The non-contact injury is a horrible break for Maye, who is in a contract year. Plus, Maye is one of the Jets’ top players, so this also is a big blow to Saleh’s struggling defense, which was already playing without star pass rusher Carl Lawson.
- What will Sean Payton and the Saints decide to do at quarterback? (The Ringer) - With Jameis Winston out for the season with a torn ACL, New Orleans has a big decision to make: move forward with Trevor Siemian, revamp the offense around Taysom Hill, or bring in an outside veteran. The team’s playoff hopes hang in the balance.