NFL

Mayfield surprised by Beckham video: I want Odell to succeed

By Sports Desk November 03, 2021

Baker Mayfield was "pretty surprised" by Odell Beckham Sr's apparent criticism of the Cleveland Browns quarterback, insisting he wants the best for Odell Beckham Jr.

The Browns wide receiver was thrust into the spotlight ahead of the trade deadline on Tuesday when his father posted a lengthy video on Instagram showing a number of occasions on which Mayfield failed to find his team-mate.

Beckham Sr. also responded to comments criticising Mayfield, seemingly agreeing the one-time Heisman Trophy winner was hampering his son's performances.

Beckham Jr., who returned from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in Week 3 this year, has 17 catches for 232 yards and zero touchdowns for the 4-4 Browns, who are bottom of the AFC North. He has been targeted 34 times.

In the six games before his Week 7 injury in 2020, Beckham had 23 receptions on 42 targets for 319 yards and three TDs.

With Mayfield – who is averaging a career-high 8.3 yards per passing attempt but has tossed only six TD scores – blamed by Beckham Sr., he described himself as "surprised" but not "hurt".

"I've had conversations with his dad before, man-to-man, face-to-face, and I was pretty surprised by the video and the intentions and the feelings behind it," Mayfield said.

He added: "Naturally, he wants his son to succeed. I can't blame him for that. I want Odell to succeed. That's where we were at – or at least so I thought."

Beckham will do well to succeed from the sideline, though. He was "excused" from practice on Wednesday, coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed, with his future in doubt despite staying in Cleveland.

Should he return, Mayfield is willing to work with Beckham again, having had 110 completions for 1,513 passing yards from 202 targets throwing to the former New York Giants wideout – second to Jarvis Landry in each category for the QB's NFL career.

"If he's back, then we'll work through it and do whatever it takes," Mayfield said. "I can put my ego and pride to the side to win. Because that's all I care about is winning.

"If not, then we'll roll with the guys we have out there. And those guys will know that I completely trust them, and they'll know that I'm always here for them, and that's the leader and the type of quarterback I am."

The Browns actually have a better record without Beckham than with him since his 2019 signing, going 14-15 when the receiver is in the team compared to 7-4 when he is missing.

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