The Cleveland Browns are set to encounter Odell Beckham Jr. for the first time since their tumultuous split in 2021.
The Browns hit the road on Sunday to take on the Baltimore Ravens in a critical AFC North matchup. After a year away recovering from a second major knee injury, Beckham signed with the Ravens this offseason on a one-year, $15 million deal.
Beckham went through some rough years in Cleveland after a trade from the Giants in 2019, managing just 114 catches for 1,586 yards in 29 games. After the ugly ending, Beckham signed with the Rams and became a significant contributor during their Super Bowl run.
The breakup with Beckham wasn’t pretty but the polarizing pass-catcher isn’t harboring any hard feelings.
“Nah. I mean, I made great bonds and memories with those guys over there,” Beckham said, per the Ravens’ official site. “Once you’re on a team, you build a brotherhood that lasts way longer than anything else.
“Not to be like, ‘Oh, it’s another game to me,’ but it will be fun to go against these guys who are friends and brothers of mine. But definitely no animosity on my end for sure. A lot of love and respect.”
Beckham missed the first matchup of the season back in early October with an ankle injury. The Ravens won that game 28-3.
Browns Considered Signing Odell Beckham in Offseason
The Browns considered bringing back Beckham this offseason — a sign that the team too had put their history behind them. However, the Browns went in a different direction, adding Elijah Moore via trade and signing veteran Marquise Goodwin.
“The Browns have maintained a great relationship with Beckham since his controversial departure in 2021, and he was on their radar as the league year opened. They were even one of a dozen teams that attended his workout in Arizona on March 10th,” Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com wrote on March 28.
The Browns weren’t willing to offer Beckham the whopping $15 million plus incentives that the Ravens came to the table with. And while the Browns’ passing game hasn’t been tremendous this season, signing Beckham wouldn’t have changed much. The Browns struggles have stemmed from inconsistency at the quarterback position, with Deshaun Watson missing more than a month with a rotator cuff strain.
Browns Defenders Respect Odell Beckham
Beckham is far from the game-breaking receiver he once was but appears to be hitting his stride with the Ravens. In seven games this season he has 19 catches for 218 yards. Beckham caught his first touchdown pass last week against the Seattle Seahawks
“I try to be realistic with myself knowing that my expectations are way higher than just one touchdown,” Beckham said this week. “It does feel good. I worked very hard just to be able to get back on the field just to make a catch. The goal was always to be able to score touchdowns, but at the same time keeping the mindset that it’s one week and finding ways to get better.”