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NFL Rumors: Why the Browns should trade Odell Beckham Jr. for Saints' Michael Thomas

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Ryan Ward
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The Cleveland Browns have pushed to a strong start through the first four weeks of the 2021 season, holding a 3-1 record with a three-way tie atop the AFC North.

Since the season-opening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Browns have handled business, winning games through their play on both sides of the ball. The offense continues to be anchored by a ground game led by their two-headed attack, running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Too hard to explain what i been feelin…. https://t.co/B20tGibGuF

Why it's time for the Browns to trade Odell Beckham Jr.

Chubb is currently second in the league in rushing with 362 yards, putting him on pace to record a career-best 1,448 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Hunt isn’t too far behind him with 234 rushing yards. He is on pace to notch 936 yards this season.

However, the passing game hasn’t been as impactful. Baker Mayfield continues to bring stability, but he hasn’t been the offensive producer that his number one overall draft selection would suggest. He has 935 passing yards, two touchdown passes, two interceptions and an 89.7 passer rating.

The Browns’ top receiving option this season is currently Hunt with 121 yards on 12 receptions, putting more of the spotlight on the lack of production from star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. The Pro Bowler has struggled to move past health issues once again and he’s played just two games, recording seven catches for 104 receiving yards.

As talented as Beckham Jr. has proved to be throughout his career, he’s struggled with staying healthy over the last few seasons. It’s especially been the case since donning a Browns uniform. In his first campaign, he put up productive numbers with 75 catches for 1,035 receiving yards, but he played the entire year with a sports hernia.

Last season, Beckham Jr. played only seven games after suffering a torn ACL. He recovered in the offseason, but continued to deal with lingering concerns. Through the first month of the season, he’s worked through a knee injury. On top of that, he recently revealed he’s had a torn labrum for the last 10 years. All of that paints a red flag that injuries will remain a constant.

It's almost time for Michael Thomas' intensity to descend upon our WR room. #HurryUpMike #Saints

Beyond injury concerns, Beckham Jr. hasn’t produced at an elite level since joining the Browns. His connection with Mayfield hasn’t led to him putting up consistent numbers as he’s sparsely shown his big-play ability.

If the Browns become serious about moving Beckham Jr., a deal for Michael Thomas may be the ideal move. Thomas’ relationship with the New Orleans Saints has soured over the last couple of years, leading to internal friction.

The star wideout is expected to miss a few more weeks of this season due to an injury, but the Saints are no longer seeing eye-to-eye with him. If the Browns are willing to offer Beckham Jr., it would be a move that would provide a clean slate for both sides.

As much as the Saints would love to retain the talented wideout, a change of scenery could be best, while adding Beckham Jr. would give them a star to step in as the new number one receiving option.

Beckham Jr. still has three years worth roughly $45 million left on his contract that extends through the 2023 campaign. It should be noted that after this season, the team holds no dead-cap hit if they part ways with him. Meanwhile, Thomas has four years left on his five-year, $96.2 million deal that runs through 2024.

It could provide a sure-fire fix for both sides, but only time will tell if the Browns will ever reach that point with Beckham Jr.


Also Check Out: How many NFL Bye weeks in 2021?


Edited by Samuel Green
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