In theory, there shouldn’t be too many people in the business who know Odell Beckham, Jr. better than does Jarvis Landry. They were close teammates at LSU before being reunited with the Cleveland Browns this offseason, and obviously had remained close during the early portion of their careers.
Both were acquired via trade, so they didn’t choose to sign with the Browns as unrestricted free agents. In 2018, the Miami Dolphins gave him the non-exclusive franchise tag before dealing him to Cleveland. The Browns sent first- and third-round draft picks plus Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants for Beckham, who had signed a long-term contract last year.
Since 2018, they have won a whopping 12 games, and are 6-7 this year, with a big game against the Baltimore Ravens looming, with which the latter can clinch a first-round bye, and potentially even homefield advantage. A loss would guarantee the Browns its 12th consecutive non-winning season.
So who would want to be here? When Beckham says publicly during an interview that he’s not sure he can say whether or not he will still be on the Browns in 2020, or even want to be on the Browns, shouldn’t we take that at face value?
Not according to Landry. “I think he wants to be here”, he told reporters. “I know he wants to be here. It’s not even about trying to go somewhere else. I think for him he’s been the leader. He’s a guy that comes to work everyday. He’s a guy that’s playing through injuries and all the things that you want out of a player. And inside of this organization, he has a voice”.
Earlier this week, somebody’s voice apparently expressed great dissatisfaction with the state of the offense, essentially saying that the playcalling, scheme, and execution all need to be fixed next season and hinting that it may require a new person in charge to accomplish that. Could it have been one of these wide receivers?
Beckham has also recently said that he has very consciously gone out of his way to avoid creating a spectacle of himself the way he had in New York, knowing that that is what the media and consumers want to see from him, so things could have been much worse, in actuality. Yet the level of attention his remarks have gotten—he did not speak to the media this week—is still a nuisance for him.
“I’m sure he sees it and it does take a toll in a sense to know that he’s putting his heart and soul into this season for this team and everybody else is trying to make a story off of things that is not really going on”, Landry said.
There was a report that Beckham was telling players on other teams, heading into the trade deadline, to ‘come get me’. Landry was asked about that and his general relationship with Beckham. Would he confide in his friend? “If he don’t, I’m gonna beat his ass”, he said with a laugh.