Odell Beckham’s status of an elite receiver is on the line in 2020

Cleveland Browns Odell Beckham Jr. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Odell Beckham Jr. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Odell Beckham is telling everyone that he thinks 2020 will be one of his best seasons. For the sake of his career and legacy, he better hope it is.

Odell Beckham has had three consecutive down years as a wide receiver. Correction, down for an “elite” wide receiver. If Beckham was Wayne Chrebet or Antwaan Randle El, two back to back 1,000-yard seasons would be something to praise. Beckham, however, isn’t a middle-tier receiver. At least if you ask him and his legion of loyal fans. The Cleveland Browns could use an elite-level wide receiver if Beckham can still hit that level.

He took to his YouTube account to post about his recovery from off-season hip and groin surgery and made it clear he expects to be back to his old self. “I would honestly say this is probably going to be one of my best seasons. Bigger, stronger, faster — this is my time,” Beckham proclaimed.

The thing is, surgery can only fix so much. The body can only handle so much. Beckham’s list of injuries is as long as many people’s bills these days. He’s already had a pretty serious surgery to fix his ankle at the end of the 2017 season. Now his hip, plus the numerous other injuries he’s compiled that have slowed him down?

Bodies don’t break down due to a person’s age, but a person’s wear and tear. Beckham himself claimed he’s been playing for 23 years. How many more hits does his body have? That’s the answer that’s going to be revealed in 2020. After two down years, and a third wrecked by injuries, Beckham hasn’t had an elite-level performance in nearly four years.

Yet, he’s paid like an elite play-maker.

Beckham’s stats aren’t the only thing noticeably different about his play, simply watching him line up across from good-friend Jarvis Landry reveals that Beckham has been different. While Landry’s numbers aren’t Jerry Rice-like, his play is dramatically more impressive than Beckham’s (and most of the leagues). Landry’s not dropping passes like Beckham, his routes are crisper and he’s breaking off more consistent big plays. Beckham’s drops for 2019 were up as well, as PFF cited him as one of the worst in the league. They claim Beckham’s play as one of the reasons Baker Mayfield struggled.

There is a chance that Beckham can bounce back, just look at what Randy Moss did to his career after Oakland. Yet, if he’s going to do it, it’s gotta be here and now. A second year of sub-par play won’t lead to a third season in Cleveland. At least at his current price.

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