Odell Beckham Jr. has a history of butting heads with the NFL; maybe one too many times. For example, here is how OBJ responded when he was fined for wearing non-regulation pants during a game last year:
“They feel the need to fine me for some pants that cost probably six cents to make, and we’re getting fined $15,000. They’re just finding a way to pull the money back from the players.”
Everything OBJ said there was just plain stupid, but that last thing; that’s the problem. Does OBJ really think he can say things like that and not get any blow-back? Apparently, he does. But he is sadly mistaken. In fact, the NFL can easily damage his career because OBJ plays a vulnerable position.
The NFL passing game is one of precision and timing. If a defensive back can hold a receiver just a little bit, and delay his arrival at the spot where the ball is being thrown to, he can break up the play. It doesn’t take much, and if the referees, who, it turns out, work for the NFL, are instructed to give the DBs a little “latitude” to hold onto OBJ, then he is going to have a hard time running his routes with the necessary precision. I believe we saw a fresh example of this during the Browns’ game against the Ravens on Sunday (9/13/2020).
This has been going on for a while now, and was why Odell threw a punch at Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey during the game in Week 4 of 2019. Humphrey was cheating like crazy, and the refs were letting him. But this doesn’t just affect Odell’s stats, it also drags down Baker Mayfield’s numbers. In fact, the way to “fix” Baker is to ditch Odell.
Odell is damaged goods. The league has it in for him. He should be benched, traded, or cut unless he can mend fences with the NFL. What would that look like? Odell should ask for a meeting with the league, apologize for his past remarks, and pledge to be a model player going forward. He should even sip a glass of milk during the meeting to show how wholesome he will be.
What are the chances of the hyper narcissist Odell doing that?
So, I think he is done in the NFL. He might try his luck with the CFL, get a fresh start, turn over a new leaf, etc.
Note: as I was writing this today, a burst of anti-Odell sentiment hit the Browns scene. It seems that the pass Odell dropped on third-and-two during Sunday’s game against the Ravens has infuriated many Browns fans who are now calling for his head. To that, I say: join the party. I turned against Odell back on April 28, 2020 when I published:
And in May, I wrote two more pieces:
I predicted that Odell’s lack of chemistry with Baker would continue into the 2020 season, and I was proven right, emphatically, in the very first game.
Today, everybody knows that the grand Baker/Odell experiment has failed, and that change is needed. Coach Stefanski informed us last week that Kareem Hunt would be “spelling” Nick Chubb. Why not some spelling for Odell? Why not give half of his snaps to Rashard Higgins? Then Odell could indulge in a few extra IV’s. Speaking of which, nobody needs an IV. If a muscle cramps up, all you need is one of those little salt packets and your muscle will be fine in a couple of minutes.
And finally, during an interview today, Odell was asked what could be done to improve his chemistry with Baker, and he answered: more game reps. A couple minutes later he was complaining that he was being unfairly criticized for always wanting the ball – when he had just demanded more balls earlier in the same interview!
Odell isn’t a bad football player. We have seen him out in front, blocking for Chubb on many occasions, and even making the occasional catch. Even the dropped pass mentioned above was probably from Odell being too eager to make a big play, and turning his eyes up-field too early. But I just don’t think that Odell is a chemistry kind of guy. So, while all of this pressure being put on Odell & Baker this week might cause them to suddenly try harder and finally gel, I just don’t think it will happen. It would be amazing if it did, but I’m not holding my breath.