Kevin Stefanski’s Failed Leadership Has Led To Odell Beckham Jr.’s Cleveland Exit | The 3 Best Destinations For The Mercurial Wide Receiver

Odell Beckham, Jr and Baker Mayfield during better days. Image Credit: @Fataldarkprince

The relationship between the Cleveland Browns and Odell Beckham Jr., is officially over as the two sides have amicably agreed to part ways. The Browns acquired Beckham from the New York Giants in 2019, and at the time he was thought to be huge piece in the rise on the shores of Lake Erie.

His production with the Cleveland Browns never came anywhere close to what he did in his first five seasons with the “G Men.” Beckham hasn’t had a season where he touched paydirt more than four times, but it’s not all his fault.

Beckham And Mayfield Never Had A Connection

Beckham has struggled to develop a rapport with “franchise” quarterback Baker Mayfield, the 2018 No. 1 overall pick. The relationship between the two has always been a topic of discussion, as most believed with OBJ in the fold Mayfield would reach greater heights.

 

It’s been the complete opposite.

Mayfield has played better without Beckham on the gridiron, and last year the team was one missed targeting call away from upending the eventual AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round. That was without OBJ, who missed most of the season with a torn ACL. This season hasn’t been much better, with Beckham averaging a paltry 38.7 yards receiving per game. He’s done more pouting than anything.

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Things really took a turn for the worse following Sunday’s 15-10 loss to the archrival Steelers, where OBJ had one catch for 6 yards while being targeted just three times all game. Following the loss, Beckham’s camp became more vocal about the situation, with OB Sr. even taking to Instagram to post an 11-minute video pointing out all the times his son has been open and Baker didn’t even look his way.

Following the release of the video, Beckham Sr. wasn’t done, and he even said, “Mayfield was either hating on Odell or he just doesn’t want him shining.” He also responded with “bigfacts” to a post that called Mayfield mediocre.

Mayfield Responds, But Kevin Stefanski Failed As Leader

“Naturally, he wants his son to succeed,” Mayfield responded in a news conference. “I can’t blame him for that. I want Odell to succeed. That’s where we are at — or at least so I thought.”

Baker Mayfield Needs To Shut Up And Let His Wing Do The Talking

It’s not all Mayfield’s fault. People have made this a Baker vs. Odell battle, but the head coach sets the tone. He makes the decision and he’s in control. Kevin Stefanski is the offensive play-caller and has a bit of a track record as pertains to the lack of production of star wideouts in his offense.

Beckham’s production decreased by 32 percent under Stefanski. Bills ace Stefon Diggs saw a 38 percent drop under Stefanski, and Adam Thielen saw a 58 percent collapse in Minnesota. That spells scheme more than QB play.

Beckham Shined Under The Bright Lights Of NYC

When the New York Giants drafted OBJ with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft they knew they were getting a dynamic playmaker. What they didn’t know was how dynamic. Beckham set the tone in his rookie season with his one-handed touchdown grab “heard ’round the world” against archrival Dallas on SNF.

OBJ went bananas with 129 receptions (versus six drops), 1,850 receiving yards, 432 yards after catch, 17 touchdowns and 14.3 yards per reception in his rookie season.

It was the beginning of three straight 1,300-yard seasons. In all he went for over a 1,000 yards in four of his five seasons with “Big Blue.” If not for an ankle fracture in 2017, it was highly plausible he would’ve had five consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

OBJ had 44 touchdown grabs in five seasons with the Giants. He’s had seven since arriving in Cleveland. It’s insane that a guy who averaged 8.5 paydirt touches a season can only muster 2.2 per season over 28 starts with the Browns.

Beckham Will Be Courted Heavily If He Clears Waivers

Based on the timing of his release, OBJ won’t clear waivers until Monday at 4 p.m. But his services should be in high demand, as there are a plethora of teams who need receiver help.

After all that drama in New York would either party even want to reconcile and reunite? It’s doubtful, but speculation is rampant right now.

Teams Most Likely To Land Odell Beckham Jr.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers have never had a first-round wideout on the roster since Aaron Rodgers has been the QB. Imagine an offense that features ARod, Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and OBJ. That move would help catapult the Pack in the ultra-competitive NFC playoff race.

New Orleans Saints 

The New Orleans Saints just lost starting QB Jameis Winston for the season with a torn ACL. They also received word that star wideout Michael Thomas won’t be returning to action this season following a setback from his offseason ankle surgery.

Quarterback play will be a bit shoddy with Trevor Siemien leading the way in Nawlins, but multi-purpose back Alvin Kamara wil pick up some of the slack.  Beckham is from Louisiana and started at LSU, so a return home might rejuvenate him.

Kansas City Chiefs 

The Kansas City Chiefs are suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. In need of a No. 2 option to take some pressure off Tyreek Hill, adding Beckham is just the type thing Andy Reid and K.C. would do.

If anybody knows how to create opportunities for Odell Beckham it’s offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who has guided Patrick Mahomes to mega success.

Wild-card Team In The Mix?

Much to the chagrin of many fans who dislike Tom Brady, one must never forget the admiration Beckham has for him. ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington said this about the Brady/OBJ dynamic on “Get Up.”

“I have never heard of another QB that Odell Beckham Jr. respects, and has aspired to play with, more than Tom Brady.”

In 2019, Beckham said this about a possibility of teaming up with the “GOAT.”

“Two, three years ago there was a lot of speculation and all that was going on and I was willing and ready to go over there at any point in time,” said OBJ. That was a dream of mine to play for Tom Brady — Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.”

Brady isn’t in Foxborough anymore, and the Bucs don’t need another weapon on the outside, but never say never when it comes to “Tom Terrific.”