Despite entering the 2019 NFL season with a lot of promise, the Cleveland Browns are struggling with a 2-6 record, seemingly on the verge of missing yet another postseason, with quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. both playing well below expectations. Given that Beckham was the 2019 offseason’s biggest-name acquisition for the Browns, many are now suggesting that he might want out of Cleveland if the team continues to underperform. And with that in mind, a recent report recommended four potential destinations for the talented 27-year-old wideout.
In this week’s edition of his “10-Point Stance” column for Bleacher Report, Mike Freeman devoted a lot of time to Beckham, opining that his disappointing-thus-far first season with the Browns is not of his own doing. Freeman mentioned Mayfield’s regression in his second pro season, as well as Freddie Kitchens’ perceived ineffectiveness as Cleveland’s first-year head coach as two reasons why Beckham might be on track to becoming “one of the greatest examples in football history of wasted talent.”
Those two reasons, plus the Browns’ reputation as a team prone to making poor personnel decisions, have reportedly led rival teams to speculate that Beckham may be traded at some point after the current season. While Freeman stressed that it won’t be easy to ship “OBJ” at this time, he did mention four teams as the most likely suitors for the former New York Giants star — the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, and San Francisco 49ers.
Further breaking things down, the Bleacher Report columnist also specified the reasons why each of the four aforementioned organizations stand out from the rest of the pack. These include the Patriots’ tendency to get top stars via free agency or trade, the “remarkable” potential of a Packers team with Aaron Rodgers throwing passes to Beckham, and the possibility that OBJ could mesh well with the Ravens and 49ers’ respective young signal-callers, Lamar Jackson and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Despite the tantalizing possibility of seeing Beckham play at an All-Pro level with Tom Brady, Rodgers, Jackson, or Garoppolo behind center, Freeman stressed that the chances of a trade taking place right after the 2019 season are quite slim. On their end, the Browns would be left with $19 million in dead salary-cap space if they traded him in the 2020 offseason, meaning that the team will have to wait until the spring of 2021 before they can ship him off without incurring any cap penalties. However, it was also noted by Freeman that Beckham has recently been showing some signs of frustration over his inability to perform up to expectations in Cleveland.