CLEVELAND, Ohio — Myles Garrett got his wish with Jadeveon Clowney re-signing with the Browns, and now he’s trying to bring back 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 The Fellas 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 others.
Garrett, who treated the defense to a trip to South Beach this weekend, replied “It’s time.”
It certainly won’t be as easy for Garrett to lure Beckham back here as it was Clowney. Beckham’s departure midway through last season after his father shared the “Odell Beckham Jr. is always Open” video rocked the entire team and the organization to the core, and contributed to the disappointing 8-9 finish.
Baker Mayfield was never the same after the ordeal — and after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder in Week 2 with Beckham sidelined — and is now hoping the Browns can find a trade partner for him. Some in the organization felt Beckham left on the team.
But Garrett and many other defensive players threw their support behind Beckham, and the team was fractured.
“The man had one touch last week (vs. the Steelers) and he was disgruntled,” Garrett said then. “I can’t say it was rightfully so, but he’s the No. 1 receiver. I mean, the No. 1 receiver, you have to expect some things are going to come with that.
“For it to spiral out of control like this, I feel like it shouldn’t have gone this far. But now, I don’t make those decisions. At the end of the day, we’ve got to come together as a team and surround ourselves with the people in this building and move forward. At the end of the day, nobody’s 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 GM Andrew Berry said then there were things that he wasn’t at liberty to share.
Beckham, of course, went on 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 route to a 23-20 victory over the Bengals before tearing his left ACL again.
Beckham had the ligament repaired, and NFL Network reported that the second procedure corrected the one by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews that didn’t go as well as Beckham hoped.
It may have been why Beckham opted out of playing in the opener against Kansas City last season when the Browns fully expected him to play. He remained out until the Bears game in Week 3, which was about 10 months after the surgery.
If it takes Beckham 10 months again, he won’t be ready until almost December.
But Rams receiver Cooper Kupp told ESPN’s First Take on Friday that he’d love to have Beckham back.
“What he was able to do coming into this offense, learning it and then being able to go and execute the way he did was absolutely incredible,” Kupp said. “But just as a person, as a teammate, how he was in our building, I would absolutely love nothing more than just to be able to have him come back and be a part of what we’re building here.”
As for the Browns, they’re happy with the receiving corps they have, and not clamoring to sign another veteran to pair with Amari Cooper. If something makes sense they’ll do it, but it’s not a high priority.
Greg Newsome II acknowledges the Beckham rift with Baker Mayfield was rough
On the Varsity House podcast this week, cornerback Greg Newsome said out loud what everyone knew last season: that the Mayfield-Beckham drama took a toll on the entire team.
“It was just so much,” said Newsome, who appeared on the podcast with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. “That whole entire relationship was just off, honestly. And yes, it was distracting. It’s distracting but I knew at the end of the day, I still needed to do my job. At the end of the day, we play defense. So we don’t have to worry about the guy throwing us the ball. We don’t have to worry about the guy that’s catching the ball. We’ve gotta stop them.”
Owusu-Koramoah echoed the sentiments of a lot of Browns players when he said “Odell has got to be one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”
Newsome pointed out that Mayfield, who took him and other players out to dinner, “was a great teammate too.”
Watch out for Alex Wright
The Browns have his hopes for third-round defensive end Alex Wright out of UAB.
“Just the size and the athletic ability,” Woods said at OTAs Wednesday. “He’s a big defensive end. I think he’s about 275 pounds right now, but you can see the growth potential in his body. You can still see he can develop his lower body and his upper body. I think you guys will see him in two years, and he might be 295 pounds and look like a monster. We’re excited about him. I think for him, it’s maybe a little eye-opening. It’s kind of like, ‘This is not UAB. It is the NFL.’ He has some things he has to work on, but the potential is definitely there.”
A More Attack-minded front
Woods promised an even more forward-thinking front in 2022, which is one of the reasons they like fourth-round defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey.
“He has extreme length – 35-inch-plus arms,” Woods said. “Three hundred pounds. He gets off the ball. He’s very explosive. We want to have more of an attacking front. We want guys who get off the ball and dent 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 plays very hard. With his size and his athletic ability, his attitude and his approach to the game, he’s exactly what we were looking for. He still has to grow up a little bit. He has to learn our system, but we’re very pleased with getting him in the draft.”
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