New team, same drama. That's been the tale of the 2019 season for All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., acquired in the offseason by the Cleveland Browns in a blockbuster trade with the New York Giants. The supremely high expectations the Browns had for themselves entering the 2019 season were well-founded, considering they now had Beckham to tandem with former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry and running back Nick Chubb, along with former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield calling the shots under center after a promising rookie season.
Equally, if not more so, loaded with talent on their defense, the sky was the limit for the Browns, but that feels like ages ago. After a short turnaround in November, they've now lost two of their three games in December to fall to 6-8 and virtually out of the playoff hunt, while rumors swirl regarding the future of Beckham in Cleveland -- including reports he told as many as four other NFL teams to "come get me."
There has been no formal news Beckham ever requested a trade in 2019 and, hoping to dispel the rumors for good, he spoke with the media head of the team's matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
"I'm not going anywhere," he said, via Jake Trotter of ESPN. "I'll be here. We'll figure this thing out. It's just too special to leave. [I heard I want to go] to the Steelers. I heard Jarvis wanted to go to the Cardinals. It's just easy to talk about us.
"It's a cop out, I feel like. It's easy thing to do -- to cause a little controversy and a little friction. I feel like with my experiences in the league, and kind of going through the troubles that I did, I can see how those stories -- it'll never affect me -- it's like does it cause a little friction between you and a teammate who doesn't necessarily know what you're thinking? It's just done.
"It's time for me to put it to bed. I'm going to be here. There's nothing more to talk about, unless I go to the [Toronto] Argonauts or the [Winnipeg] Blue Bombers.
Beckham, who has never done well hiding his frustrations with the offense in-game, says the team will reset in the offseason and he'll still be around to help Kitchens right the ship. It's not like he has much say in the matter anyway, to be honest, because it would take a lot in order for an already unwilling John Dorsey to convince another team to take on Beckham's massive contract with four years remaining to its expiration.
Mentally, though, Beckham says he hasn't checked out.
"We're going to be here [next season]," he said with a smile. "We're going to do it again, and we're going to be what we felt like we should've been [in 2019]. We'll correct all the little mistakes. It's just too good here. I didn't buy a house here to sell it."
That last comment will inevitably invoke memories of Giants general manager Dave Gettlemen stating he "didn't sign Odell to trade him," following New York awarding Beckham a massive five-year, $95 million contract extension in 2018. Seven months later, he was shipped off to Cleveland.
That being the reality, the irony of Beckham's proclamation isn't lost on him.
"I know people have heard, 'I didn't sign him to trade him' before," he said. "But I didn't buy a house here to up and leave it -- do renovations on a house, and build a dog house [to walk away from it]."
Browns fans are hoping his words ring true, because there's a bigger Dawg House still awaiting its promised makeover.