That’s saying a lot with how poorly the Detroit Lions’ receivers have performed this season.
Just when everything seems stable in Cleveland, Odell Beckham Jr. goes, well, Odell Beckham Jr. It appears as though once the veteran pass-catcher fades from the limelight even for a minute, something happens to propel him back into the news.
Hours before the NFL Trade Deadline, Odell Beckham Sr. released a video blasting Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield for deliberately avoiding to target his son in the passing game. Beckham Sr. claims Mayfield would rather throw the football away than throw it to his son even when he’s wide open down the field.
Beckham Jr’s father also insists that Mayfield’s poor play is to blame for Beckham Jr’s 2021 struggles.
The troubled receiver was sent home by the Browns Tuesday, and reports suggest Cleveland may tell him to stay away from the remainder of the season without waiving him. Beckham Jr. carries a cap hit of $15.75 million for 2021, with a dead cap number coming in at the exact figure. Starting next season, Beckham Jr’s deal doesn’t possess a dead cap number, and the organization can trade or release him without any repercussions. Cleveland may decide to eat the remainder of this season and move on without him in the offseason.
The former Pro Bowler is returning from a serious knee injury that cost him all but seven games in 2020 and is off to a slow start through the midway point of 2021. In six games, he’s totaled just 232 yards on 17 catches while averaging 5.6 targets per game.
Drama seems to follow Beckham Jr. where ever he goes. Some thought going from the bright lights in the Big Apple to smalltown Cleveland would help the once-star receiver mature. Maybe those bright lights in New York were getting a bit too warm. Cleveland, although on Sundays can be a ruckus place to work, is calmer and far more laid back than New York, with far fewer opportunities for mischief to ensue.
When I think of Beckham Jr., my brain automatically goes to that unbelievable one-handed catch back in 2014 against the Dallas Cowboys, perhaps one of, if not the most incredible catch in NFL history. However, former Giants wide receiver David Tyree would have something to say about that. Then nearly immediately, I remember the footage of an angry Beckham Jr. comically fighting and losing to the kicking net on the sideline.
There have been so many other instances that Beckham Jr. had caused a commotion, so much so that the three-time Pro Bowler was dealt to Cleveland before the ink had a chance to dry on his new five-year contract extension.
Even in Cleveland, Beckham Jr. had some drama when he played the season-opening game in 2019 with a watch around his wrist. Indeed he’s aware that this violated a league rule that prohibits players from wearing hard objects.
I’m sure the company that provided the star receiver with the watch picked up the tab, but it’s more principal than anything to me, he just can’t seem to stay out of the headlines, and that is a distraction the Detroit Lions do not need.
The Detroit Lions are not a destination for available veteran receivers in 2021.
Although the Detroit Lions could use help at the receiver position, don’t expect Beckham Jr. if he gets waived (which is not a guarantee) by the Browns to rush for employment in Detroit.
Sure, he’d see a plethora of targets but do you really think he has a desire to join a winless team just days away from turning 29 years old? Perhaps his list of suitors will be small, but after failing to come to terms on a trade with the 5-2 Saints before the NFL Trade Deadline expired, that may be where he’s going on a one-year discounted price.
The Detroit Lions have precisely $2 million in cap space; I don’t see Beckham Jr. putting his tail between his legs and signing for that money to play on a rebuilding Detroit club. Players like this take massive short-term discounts to join playoff contenders, not bottom feeders.
If Beckham Jr. has aspirations to play for a contender if he’s waived; expect him to look towards Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Arizona, or either club in Los Angeles. The same could be said about DeSean Jackson aside from the Rams, of course.
When it comes to the Detroit Lions, the hope is Tyrell Williams returns for the second half of the season. Williams has been sidelined with a concussion since Week One.