The fraught relationship between former Browns teammates Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. may have been the worst kept secret in football last year. Now, two guys with ringside seats in the locker room have confirmed that the tension between the pair was genuine, and it had an impact on the team.
Speaking on the Varsity House podcast, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and DB Greg Newsome, both rookies last season, discussed their high-profile teammates. They praised the positive impact both players had on them, especially OBJ, before acknowledging the issues between the pair.
Owusu-Koramoah had the following words of praise for Beckhan Jr.:
"Odell’s gotta be one of the best teammates that I’ve had. It's wild if I had been from the outside looking in, but he would be looking out the rookies."
Newsome also spoke candidly about Beckham and Mayfield:
"Odell is the best teammate, there was no hazing and after practice he would be like, 'Hey bro, let's work on this'. But honestly, the crazy thing is, Baker was a great teammate, too."
Both players confirmed that the fued was the talk of the locker room, and at times distracting. But they also argued that it had also been blown out of proportion by the media.
Where did it go wrong for Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. partnership
When the Browns acquired Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants prior to the 2019 season, hopes were higher than ever for the long-suffering fans in Cleveland. The hype train had already derailed by Week 9 that season, as a loss to the Denver Broncos left the Browns 2-6, and more or less, out of playoff contention.
Late in the game, Baker Mayfield had a chance to throw to a wide open OBJ, but he didn't and we saw the first signs of friction between the pair. OBJ was visibly upset.
Baker Mayfield was panned on social media. But word soon emanated from the dressing room that Beckham had gone on a walkabout on his route. This was the first example of what would become a familiar theme.
Over the next two seasons, the pair would spend hours together, both on and off the practice field, socialising and even going on holiday with each other. But as soon as they got on the field, they weren't on the same page.
Truthfully, they were reading a completely different book, and the more they forced it, the more awkward it became.
The end of their fractured relationship came via a social media controversy, sparked by OBJ's dad. OBJ senior posted a compliation video of Mayfield not throwing to his son, who was wide open in all the clips.
Beckham remained silent, neither dismissing the post, nor reassuring Baker, and within days OBJ was released by the Browns.
Odell Beckham Jr. went on to win a Super Bowl with the Rams, while the Browns were all in on Mayfield until Deshaun Watson arrived. Is the beef genuine or overblown?