With the 2019 NFL season about to kick off in 10 days, the pressure continues to mount for the hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns. The recent additions of the important players on both sides of the ball have catapulted Cleveland into the talk of the NFL.
The Cleveland Browns made a blockbuster trade and acquired the talented but somewhat controversial wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. His presence opens up the Browns and their high-powered offense into one of the top offenses in the NFL.
Beckham is one of the most important players for the Browns in the 2019 season. Find out who has made the list up to this point:
The 2014 NFL Draft
— Olivia Schmidt (@nyg1ants1fan) April 25, 2018
Odell Beckham Jr. was an extremely talented play-maker at LSU, and came into his own as a junior for the Tigers, catching 59 passes for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns. Beckham also averaged 8.4 yards per punt return and 26.4 yards per kick return in 2013.
He is lightning-fast with a 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash, and the majority of his plays are deeper vertical routes that rely on his speed to create separation. There are questions about his size at 5-foot-11, 198 pounds, but can he line up on the inside or outside and will win with his speed and elusiveness.
Beckham is a difference-maker and the New York Giants drafted with the 12th pick to replace wide receiver, Hakeem Nicks. He joined former LSU receiver Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz as targets for quarterback Eli Manning.
The Giant years
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) November 23, 2018
Beckham exploded onto the NFL scene in his 2014 rookie season. He caught 91 passes for 1305 yards and 12 touchdowns on his way to winning the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year. The former Tiger accomplish those stats while missing the first four games with a hamstring issue.
As a rookie, he became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 100 career receptions (14 games). Beckham also had the highest average receiving yards total per game for any rookie ever (108.8).
Unfortunately, the fact that Beckham was not able to stay healthy with the Giants was a thorn in the team’s side. Through five seasons, he has missed 20 games due to an injury including playing in just four games in 2017 before requiring surgery to repair a fractured ankle. He came back in 2018, catching 77 passes for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games before missing the last month with a quad contusion.
The three-time Pro Bowler had the best three-season start by a wide receiver in Giants history. His 288 receptions, 4,122 yards, and 35 touchdowns are all records for a Giants player in his first three seasons.
His stats in his 59 games played in his NFL career on par with the greatest receivers ever. He has 5,476 receiving yards and 44 touchdowns. Take a look on Beckham stacks up to Jerry Rice (4,852 yards, 49 TDs), Calvin Johnson (4,139 yards, 33 TDs) and Antonio Brown (4,072 yards, 20 TDs).
The New York Giants wanted to lock up their elite receiver and made him the highest paid player at his position. They signed the dynamic wide receiver to a contract that paid him an average $20 million over his first three seasons. Overall, Beckham received $95 million over five years, including $65 million guaranteed.
Things are not always peaches and cream with Beckham. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, but the Giants appeared willing to look past the antics because of his on-field success.
The Browns acquire Beckham
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) March 13, 2019
After continuing turmoil in New York, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey worked his relationship with New York Giants Dave Gettleman, and they agreed on a blockbuster trade that sends one of the best wide receivers in the league Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns sent their first and third-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft and safety Jabrill Peppers to the Giants for Odell Beckham.
John Dorsey has rebuilt the Browns into a playoff contender in 2019. The Browns are trending upwards after going 7-8-1 last season with the emergence of franchise rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. They are favorites to win the AFC North and reach the playoffs for the first time in 2002. Dorsey explained why he decided to pull the trigger on this trade:
“He’s probably if not the one, one or two best receivers in the National Football League,” Browns general manager John Dorsey said of Beckham. “Very rarely do you get a chance to acquire a player of this magnitude. He’s at a relatively young age. He’s got a lot of football left in him. Great hands, great work ethic, committed, competitive, he really wants to be great. And that’s all you can ask for.”
The 2019 Cleveland Browns
A change in QB could mean career numbers across the board for Odell Beckham Jr in 2019! pic.twitter.com/KYglUFzVOm
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) August 5, 2019
No one should be happier about the trade than Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who showed signs of improvement throughout his rookie year and now has a true No. 1 wideout at his disposal.
Beckham is now reunited with LSU teammate Jarvis Landry and former receivers coach Adam Henry. He looks to be rejuvenated in camp and is determined for a career season especially with Baker throwing him passes.
Despite all of the drama that surrounds Beckham, he is a very talented difference-maker that will take the Cleveland Browns to another level. His personality might rub players and fans the wrong way, but when the team is winning, no one is concerned with his tactics. Look for Beckham to be a Pro-Bowl player by catching 65-70 passes for 1,200-1,400 yards and double-digit touchdowns. Beckham will show why the Browns traded for him.
Dennis Sosic is an AFC North writer for Pro Football Network. He can be followed on Twitter @CALL_ME_SOS.