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Odell Beckham Jr. Ready to 'Hang Banners' with Browns, Talks Baker Mayfield

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catches a pass during a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Berea, Ohio, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is setting his sights high with his new team.

"I'm beyond excited about an opportunity I have to start over," Beckham told reporters Wednesday. "Obviously the goal is always going to be the same: to hang banners."

NFL @NFL

"Goal's always going to be the same: Hang banners." @OBJ wants rings in Cleveland. 💍 https://t.co/asxZMEphhE

The Browns traded first- and third-round picks and safety Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants in exchange for Beckham in March. The deal came less than a year after the Giants gave Beckham a five-year, $95 million contract. 

The trade was viewed as a massive win for the Browns, who have loaded up on offensive talent around quarterback Baker Mayfield. Beckham complimented Mayfield's mental makeup and noted the increase in velocity in his new quarterback's passes.

"I have to get adjusted to his speed because he's got an arm," Beckham said. "He's throwing that ball hard. So just catching it from the first day, it was like, 'Wow, this is completely different.'"

Mary Kay Cabot @MaryKayCabot

#Browns OBJ on Baker: “He’s got an arm. I have to get adjusted to the speed” https://t.co/yvuAeHFmmi

    

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Beckham spent his first five NFL seasons catching passes from Eli Manning, who is not exactly known for his zip. Mayfield's 7.7 yards per attempt as a rookie were more than Manning had in all but two of his 15 NFL seasons.

The Giants have made the playoffs only once in five seasons despite Beckham being one of the best receivers in football during that time frame. Julio Jones (96.7) is the only receiver who averages more receiving yards per game over his career than Beckham (92.8) in NFL history. 

Coming to an offense loaded with weapons, including close friend Jarvis Landry, could lead to Beckham putting up less eye-popping individual numbers. However, Beckham said the main goal in Cleveland is winning.

"More celebrations. Different ways for us to celebrate, get to see some guys' creativity. But this game is about winning," Beckham told reporters when asked how he'd feel if he had to sacrifice numbers for wins. "I'd much rather be in the playoffs than go for 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns, because I'm supposed to do that anyway...I'm ready to get back to the playoffs and show what I can do."

Beckham took consistent criticism during his time with the Giants, particularly due to his sideline outbursts and occasional scuffles. 

"I don't think anybody knows what it's like to be me," Beckham said, before noting that every one of his actions is magnified.

With the Browns getting preseason Super Bowl buzz in some circles, Beckham may have an even bigger spotlight than he did in New York. But it's clear he's ready to do anything to make it work. 

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