CLEVELAND — Will he stay or force his way out of Cleveland?
That is the question surrounding Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. after reports surfaced before Sunday’s 27-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland that the Pro Bowl pass catcher has told players and coaches from other teams to “come get me out of here.”
Whether or not those reports are true and what the plans are for Beckham Jr. in the offseason, Browns teammates have sensed no desire to leave or a half-hearted commitment from a player who, since training camp, has battled a lower body injury that may require surgery.
“I get along with Odell really well,” center JC Tretter said. “I think we have a really good relationship. We joke around every day together.
“It always seems like he’s having a fun time and you know he’s lighthearted and you’re able to joke with him and make fun of him and he makes fun of you. He’s been a model citizen since getting here, so I haven’t seen any negative to it, and I feel like he gets along with a lot of guys really well.”
That bond Beckham Jr. has with his teammates is not limited to the offense, either.
Linebacker Joe Schobert spends a lot of time next to Beckham Jr. in full-team meetings and is appreciative of the fact that when the receiver gets a gift from a sponsor, he shares the wealth and requests everyone in the locker room get the same things, too.
“He always seems happy,” Schobert said. “Gifted the whole team shoes (Monday). It was pretty nice of him. From everything I see of him, all my interactions have all been positive.
“You can tell he cares about guys in the locker room. He’s talking to everybody in training camp. There’s guys that you don’t know if they’re going to make the team that he’s around and you’d think they’re best friends. That’s just the kind of guy he is, his personality, and (I’m) happy to have him around.”
In 13 games this season, his first with the Browns, Beckham Jr. has converted his 59 receptions into 844 yards, a 14.3 yards-per-catch average, with a long play of 89 yards and two touchdowns. Also, Beckham Jr. has rushed for 10 yards on three carries.
“Odell, you know who he is,” Schobert said. “He wants to be one of the best of all time at playing the game. He’s a competitive guy, so if he’s not making a ton of plays all the time, he’s going to be competitive about it. He’s going to be who he is, but overall, in the grand scheme of things, nothing but positives.”
On the Browns, Beckham Jr. is second only to his close friend and former Louisiana State University teammate, Jarvis Landry, in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. Beckham Jr. is tied for the best yards-per-reception average among wide receivers and has the team’s longest scrimmage play of the season, regardless of position, all while dealing with what reportedly requires sports hernia surgery to address.
“I think he can be frustrated that he wants to do more and wants to get more opportunities, but that doesn’t always means it’s a shot at anybody or it’s a negative for the team,” Tretter said.
“I think that’s just kind of the balance of playing a team sport with kind of an individual aspect to it where he wants to do whatever he can to help the team win, and usually, that is catching balls and making plays. But I think, from what I’ve spoken with Odell about, he cares most about winning.”