CLEVELAND, Ohio — Myles Garrett got her wish with Jadeveon Clowney re-sign with the Browns, and now he’s trying to bring Odell Beckham Jr.
Garrett urged Beckham, still a free agent but recovering from his torn ACL, to return to Cleveland in an Instagram post this week with the caption “Come home, you guys miss you.”
The post drew immediate positive reactions from Browns defenders such as Perrion Winfrey, Anthony Walker Jr. and Chase Winovich – and from Beckham himself.
“Who you talking to slimeeeee,” Beckham replied with a series of laughing emojis and a few more.
Garrett, who offered the defense a trip to South Beach over the weekend, replied “It’s about time.”
It certainly won’t be as easy for Garrett to lure Beckham here as it was for Clowney. Beckham’s departure midway through last season after his father shared the ‘Odell Beckham Jr. is still open’ video shook the entire team and organization to the core, and contributed to the disappointing 8-9 finish. .
Baker Mayfield has never been the same after the ordeal – and after suffering a labrum tear in his left shoulder in Week 2 with Beckham sidelined – and is now hoping the Browns can find him a business partner. Some in the organization felt that Beckham had left the team.
But Garrett and many other defensive players threw their support behind Beckham, and the team was fractured.
“The man had a hit last week (against the Steelers) and he was upset,” Garrett said then. “I can’t say it was rightly so, but he’s the No. 1 receiver. I mean, the No. 1 receiver, you have to expect certain things to come with that.
“For it to get out of hand like this, I feel like it shouldn’t have gone this far. But now I don’t make these decisions. At the end of the day, we have to come together as a team and surround ourselves people in this building and move on. At the end of the day, no one is going to stop and wait for us to pick up the pieces.
Garrett said he wished the front office had consulted with the players before making a decision, but general manager Andrew Berry said there were things he was not free to share then.
Beckham, of course, continued to excel with the Rams, catching five TD passes from Matt Stafford in eight regular season games and playing a pivotal role in their march to the Super Bowl, where he caught the first TD pass of the game in road to a 23-20 win over the Bengals before tearing his left ACL again.
Beckham had the ligament repaired, and NFL Network reported that the second procedure corrected one by famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, which didn’t go as well as Beckham had hoped.
Perhaps that’s why Beckham opted out of the opener against Kansas City last season when the Browns expected him to play. He sat out until the Bears’ Week 3 game, about 10 months after the surgery.
If it takes another 10 months for Beckham, he won’t be ready until almost December.
But Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp told ESPN’s First Take on Friday that he would like Beckham back.
“What he was able to do coming into that attack, learning about it and being able to go and execute the way he did was absolutely amazing,” Kupp said. “But just as a person, as a teammate, how he was in our building, I would absolutely love nothing more than to be able to bring him back and be part of what we’re building here.”
As for the Browns, they’re happy with the receiving corps they have and aren’t clamoring to sign another veteran to team up with Amari Cooper. If something makes sense, they’ll do it, but it’s not a priority.
Greg Newsome II admits the breakup between Beckham and Baker Mayfield was difficult
On the Varsity House podcast this week, cornerback Greg Newsome said out loud what everyone knew last season: that the Mayfield-Beckham drama impacted the entire team.
“It was so much,” said Newsome, who appeared on the podcast with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. “This whole relationship was just off, honestly. And yes, it was entertaining. It’s fun, but I knew that in the end, I still had to do my job. At the end of the day, we play defense. So we don’t have to worry about the guy throwing the ball at us. We don’t have to worry about the guy catching the ball. We have to stop them.
Owusu-Koramoah echoed the sentiments of many Browns players when he said, “Odell has to be one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”
Newsome pointed out that Mayfield, who took him out to dinner with other players, “was a great teammate as well.”
Watch out for Alex Wright
The Browns have their hopes for third-round defensive end Alex Wright out of UAB.
“Just size and athletic ability,” Woods said during OTAs on Wednesday. “He’s a big defensive end. I think he’s around 275 pounds right now, but you can see the potential for his body to grow. You can still see he can develop his lower body and upper body. I think you’ll see him in two years, and he could weigh 295 pounds and look like a monster. We are delighted with him. I think for him it’s maybe a bit telling. It’s kind of like, ‘This isn’t UAB. It’s the NFL. He has things he needs to work on, but the potential is definitely there.
A more attack-oriented front
Woods has promised an even more forward-thinking front in 2022, which is one of the reasons they love fourth-round defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey.
“He’s got extreme length — arms over 35 inches,” Woods said. “Three hundred pounds. He comes out of the ball. He is very explosive. We want to have more than one attacking front. We want guys who get off the ball and drive down the line of scrimmage, and that’s exactly what he did in college.
Woods has been impressed with Winfrey so far in OTAs.
“He’s a very passionate player,” Woods said. “He is playing very strong. With his size and athleticism, his attitude and his approach to the game, he is exactly what we were looking for. He still has to grow a bit. He has to learn our system, but we are very happy to entered him in the repechage.
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