Odell Beckham Jr. Trade Rumors: 'Totally Not True' Browns Discussed Deal

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2020

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) warms up prior to the start of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)
Kirk Irwin/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns haven't seriously entertained the idea of trading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Schefter spoke to a source who called the speculation "totally not true."

"No idea where anyone would have gotten that," the source said.

Beckham's fortunes in 2019 mirrored those of his team as his 74 receptions for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns fell short of expectations. He then opened 2020 with three catches for 22 yards in a 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

After the game, he told reporters he'd "love to get involved early, but it just did not go that way Sunday."

Taken in isolation, the comment was innocuous. However, Beckham made similar overtures last year. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora also reported in December the three-time Pro Bowler wasn't requesting a trade but was "among a core of veteran Browns players, however, who are interested to see what changes, if any, are made to the team's staff and scheme in 2020, with some deep concerns about the lack of evolution in a passing game many expected to be among the best in football."

The idea of the Browns dealing Beckham started gaining steam earlier this week.

Then Cleveland beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, with OBJ notching four receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown.

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Most of the Browns' offseason business focused on strengthening the supporting cast around Baker Mayfield. They signed tight end Austin Hooper and right tackle Jack Conklin and used the No. 10 pick on another tackle, Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr. Head coach Kevin Stefanski specialized on the offensive side as an assistant coach prior to taking the Browns' job as well.

Should Beckham's relationship with Mayfield devolve to a point of no return, trading him might have to be a consideration. But he's signed through the 2023 season, and it would make little sense for Mayfield's development to move him.