Report: Odell Beckham Jr. Exit 'Poisoned the Well' for Baker Mayfield, Browns

Adam WellsMay 5, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 17: Baker Mayfield #6 and Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns reacts to a flag in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr.'s departure from the Cleveland Browns was a turning point in the relationship between Baker Mayfield and his teammates. 

Per ESPN's Jake Trotter, the way Beckham left the organization "poisoned the well" for Mayfield with some other Browns players. 

Beckham had a memorable exit from the Browns. He was excused from practice on Nov. 3 after his father, Odell Beckham Sr., went on a social media tirade that included posting a video on Instagram of his son running down the field open on multiple plays and Mayfield not throwing him the ball. 

Per Trotter, one player on the team was asked if he saw the video. 

"Why would I watch the video?" the player asked rhetorically. "I see it every day in practice."

Brad Stainbrook of 247Sports reported on the same day Beckham was excused from practice that Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told his team that the three-time Pro Bowler wouldn't be back for the rest of the season. 

Beckham signed release papers with the Browns on Nov. 5, and he was officially waived three days later. The LSU alum had 1,586 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches in 29 games with Cleveland over three seasons. 

The Los Angeles Rams signed Beckham to a one-year deal on Nov. 11. He had 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games (including the postseason) with the Rams. The 29-year-old tore his ACL in the second quarter of Super Bowl 56 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mayfield and the Browns had a disappointing 2021 season. They finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs after reaching the AFC Divisional Round in 2020. Mayfield threw for a career-low 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 starts. 

After the season, Mayfield had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder that was originally injured in Week 2. He has also been in a standoff with the organization after requesting a trade in March. 

The Browns acquired Deshaun Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans, but Mayfield's request was made before the deal was agreed on. 

Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, has one year remaining on his rookie contract. He has thrown for 14,125 yards and 92 touchdowns with a 61.6 completion percentage in 60 career games.