John Dorsey, Browns Must Resolve Issues With Odell Beckham
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports has reported that Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham has been telling opposing players and coaches to "come get him" throughout this season, suggesting he wants a trade. Just the latest piece of news that makes the Browns organization continue to look like a mess, they need to figure out a solution with Beckham for a number of reasons and there's one reason Beckham needs to be at least open-minded about it.
Beckham's season has been a big disappointment now accompanied by the news that he's been dealing with a sports hernia since first suffering the injury in training camp, which helps explain choices the Browns have made on offense. Beckham hasn't been featured as much as most thought he would be given the price tag to acquire him. It got to the point where against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was a glorified decoy.
The notion that Beckham is effectively whining that he wants out isn't necessarily the end of the world if it's really just a complaint that he's not getting the ball enough. Were he healthy, the Browns and Baker Mayfield would be featuring him on offense.
His lack of production continued in Sunday's 27-19 victory over the Bengals, which allowed the Browns to get back to within one game of .500 at 6-7. OBJ had just two catches for 39 yards.
For general manager John Dorsey, he has to figure out how to make this work as Beckham was the signature move of his tenure. They gave up a first-round pick and a productive strong safety in Jabrill Peppers to get Beckham. Peppers did want to be here and the position he played is now a hole on the Browns defense.
If the Browns were to trade Beckham, they aren't likely to get the same type of return. It would also represent a major step back for a team that believes it's a contender. It would also be a shot to the psyche of a team and a region that wants to believe it can attract superstar talent. Last, it would be the latest issue for a team that desperately wants to shed the label of dysfunctional.
If Dorsey can't get the situation resolved with Beckham, it would largely render his tenure as general manager with the Browns a waste of time. Sure, he drafted Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb, but he blew half of the 2018 draft and the returns on the 2019 draft are rough so far with so much of it relying on Beckham being a superstar.
It would also lambaste the narrative that Jarvis Landry, who's had an outstanding year with Beckham here, was somehow the linchpin to keeping this thing together and Beckham being happy.
The reality is likely somewhere in the middle. Beckham is dealing with a hernia, but playing through it. He likely feels like whatever he brings is more than enough to still be a superstar and still believes, perhaps fueled by the pain he's fighting through, that he should be having a much better year than he is.
From Beckham's standpoint, it's critical he's open-minded to the idea that this rift can be fixed, assuming it's that big of a fissure in the first place. He at least contributed to getting traded away from the New York Giants. In this case, he'd be the driving force getting moved from the Browns. He's had a reputation of being difficult, which has seemed forced much of the time. It would be more difficult to get away from it in this scenario.
When he's not fueled by emotion, answering questions from the media, he's saying things like there's nowhere he'd rather be. It's possible that he meant that then and he meant what he's been reported as saying. Beckham is a passionate guy that desperately wants to win. And when he's not winning, he's frustrated he's not getting the opportunities to help his team win. Sports hernia or not, his confidence is such that he always believes he's a star and can carry a team to victory. The team deciding he's not, even if they're right, likely doesn't sit well with him.
The bottom line is the Browns need to get this situation resolved because they need Beckham to be healthy, bought in and productive next year. Being put in a situation where they feel compelled to trade him might be better for the team in the long run, but compromises them in the here and now when they are supposed to be competing for a Super Bowl, taking advantage of the rookie contracts of Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett.
And in that sense, the pressure is entirely on Dorsey to get this solved, because without Beckham as a critical piece in the building of the Browns, he has very little to show for his time here.