Gallons of real and digital ink has been spilled in the New York market about the antics, personality and extracurriculars of Odell Beckham Jr. the past five years. Some warranted, some vastly overblown.
The narrative surrounding the receiver’s trade to Cleveland rests upon the notion that OBJ became too much of distraction, problem child and headache inside and outside of the building.
The wideout will head to Cleveland with no such biases against him this season.
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GM John Dorsey already dismissed that chatter. Now his new quarterback expresses comfort with Beckham entering the Browns locker room.
While attending Milwaukee Brewers spring training with friend Christian Yelich, Baker Mayfield was asked about Beckham’s big personality fitting into the Cleveland locker room.
"You could say the same thing about me," Mayfield said, via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. "You don’t want to tame it, you just let them be themselves and make plays. That’s who they are, when it comes down to it. The guys in that locker room, you’re going to love playing with them. And I know from Saquon [Barkley] and Sterling Shepard that I’m very close with, I know exactly who OBJ is inside the locker room and who he is to his teammates. That’s the most important thing. People can have their attitudes and perspective on it, but he’s himself and he has his teammates’ back."
Mayfield’s response is sure to inflame some old crusty flapjacks who desire athletes to be nodding drones that simply follow orders. In real life, Mayfield’s response is refreshing and speaks to a new generation of leaders who grew up managing big personalities with acceptance rather than trying to mold each character into a monotonous facsimile.
There will be plenty of questions surrounding the Browns this offseason as they try to make all the pieces fit with a rookie coach and juggle soaring expectations. How OBJ’s personality fits in with Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, etc. doesn’t need to be one of them.
My NFL coverage debut: Here’s Baker Mayfield on the Browns adding Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry to his receiver corps. pic.twitter.com/XjrKyJdsrs
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