CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from the May 31, 2022 episode of The Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show.
Odell Beckham Jr. is no longer a member of the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield is likely on his way out. But that hasn't stopped the duo's former teammates from commenting on their relationship, which reached a breaking point during the 2021 season.
Appearing on the Varsity House Podcast, Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah discussed what it was like inside Cleveland's locker room during the 2021 campaign. In doing so, Newsome admitted that there was always something that was "off" about the relationship between and Mayfield and Beckham, which ultimately became a distraction for the rest of the team.
"It was just so much. That whole entire relationship was just off, honestly," Newsome said. "And yes, it was distracting. It's distracting but I knew at the end of the day, I still needed to do my job. At the end of the day, we play defense. So we don't have to worry about the guy throwing us the ball. We don't have to worry about the guy that's catching the ball. We've gotta stop them."
While Mayfield and Beckham had been publicly friendly -- and even vacationed together on multiple occasions -- their relationship appeared to fray during a slow start to the 2021 season. The breaking point between the duo came after the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver caught just one pass for six yards in the Browns' Week 8 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which dropped Cleveland's record to 4-4 on the year.
Taking to his verified Instagram account the following day, Beckham's father, Odell Beckham Sr., posted a video highlighting several times that Mayfield had missed throws to his son throughout the season. Unable to deal Beckham -- who had reportedly requested a trade -- away before the trade deadline, the Browns ultimately released the LSU product, who went on to win a Super Bowl as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
After Mayfield struggled throughout the remainder of an injury-plagued campaign, Cleveland opted to upgrade its quarterback situation, acquiring three-time Pro Bowl selection Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans. Having requested a trade of his own, Mayfield currently remains a member of the Browns' roster as Cleveland has continued its quest to trade the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.