Skip to main content


Odell Beckham Jr. brings big name, big plays to Browns

The dust has settled. The crazed text messages and tweets have stopped flying. Odell Beckham Jr. is a member of the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland's blockbuster trade that brought in the star wide receiver and pass rusher Olivier Vernon flipped the football world on its side this week and provided additional reason for the team's optimistic outlook.

So what does it mean for the Browns?

First, it creates one of the league's best receiving tandems in Beckham and Jarvis Landry, another offseason acquisition secured one year ago. It also reunites the two former LSU teammates who shined in Baton Rouge -- combining for more than 2,300 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in their final season -- before landing in the NFL with Miami and New York.

Next, the acquisition of Beckham helps turn Cleveland into a place players want to be. The optimism was already building for the Browns after their jump from 0-16 to 7-8-1, but an addition of a worldwide star like Beckham raises that bar. The Browns are no longer just one of 32 teams -- they're a destination. With that comes expectations, but it's a far cry from the struggles experienced in the last decade.

Take a look at a selection of photos of new Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr., including ones from his time with new teammate Jarvis Landry back when they both attended LSU.

Perhaps most importantly, Beckham's arrival finally and unequivocally quenches the fan base's thirst for a bona fide star receiver. Landry filled the role last year, and while he did a very good job of it, Cleveland hasn't seen this kind of one-two punch at the position since it was cheering on Webster Slaughter and Reggie Langhorne (and Brian Brennan).

Landry has tallied at least 976 receiving yards in all but one of his five professional seasons (his rookie year), catching 481 passes for 5,014 yards and 26 touchdowns in that span (80 games). Beckham, meanwhile, has caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in his five seasons (59 games).

Now put those two together on the same roster.

Cleveland entered the offseason with a desire for a field-stretching receiver to line up opposite Landry, which would give the Browns a threat at every level of the field. Such a talent would also take some of the pressure off Landry and open up space underneath for the reliable target. Landry too often found himself blanketed in 2018 because he was clearly Cleveland's best option.

The Browns found that and much more in Beckham, a home-run hitting target with a penchant for screen-melting highlights. There's a reason your adolescent child asked for a wall graphic of Beckham for Christmas.

As No. 13 jerseys fill virtual shopping carts and flood the streets of Northeastern Ohio, open your memory bank and reflect on his one-handed catch on Sunday Night Football back in 2014.

"That may be the greatest catch I've ever seen in my life," NBC's Cris Collinsworth said during the live broadcast. 

In Beckham's last full season (2016), he caught 101 passes for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. In that same campaign, New York's Nos. 2 and 3 targets, Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard, combined for more than 1,200 yards receiving and nine more touchdowns. 

Acquiring Beckham will take at least some of the attention away from Landry, Antonio Callaway and the rest of the Browns' pass-catchers (and a backfield that includes Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson Jr. and Kareem Hunt). At the very least, it will give opposing defensive coordinators reasons to wring their hands when game-planning for an offense loaded with such talent.

That can mean only good things for a Browns offense that was already on a steady climb at the end of 2018.