BEREA, Ohio — As general manager Andrew Berry and the representatives for Odell Beckham Jr. discussed the receiver’s future Wednesday, the best way forward only favors one side.
Beckham should have played his last game for the Browns. But #FreeOBJ shouldn’t happen until 2022.
Giving him the remaining $8.33 million on his salary to stay away from the team is a small price to pay to save the locker room. The Browns have a close-knit team, but continued drama — even as the players try to ignore it — could sabotage the season.
“Our focus needs to be on winning and anything like this, stuff that gets created on the outside drama-wise take away the focus and the attention to detail that we need to have,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said Wednesday.
It would be easy for Browns players to choose sides between Mayfield and Beckham. They see the Monday film — or the video posted by Beckham’s father on Instagram — where Beckham is open. They see Mayfield doing everything in his power to play with a torn labrum and fractured humerus in his left shoulder. They realize Mayfield must cut down on the rollouts and bootlegs, his strengths, to avoid further damage to the shoulder.
But should Mayfield’s performance continue to be average at best, some could become disillusioned and take Beckham’s stance.
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