Odell Beckham wants to beat Jerry Rice’s yardage record

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He’s the most compelling and at times contradictory figure in football. And there’s nothing more compelling or contradictory than the notion that Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has resolved internal angst that caused him to contemplate retirement at age 24 by determining to play long enough to beat Jerry Rice’s all-time receiving yardage record.

Beckham explains in an interview with GQ that his personal goal is to play 10 more seasons “[o]r until I can pass Jerry [Rice]. That’s the goal: 23,000 yards.”

Rice’s all-time receiving yardage record stands at 22,965, to be precise. Through five seasons, Beckham has 5,476 yards. (Rice, through five years, had 6,364.) So Beckham needs 17,490 yards. At his current average rate of 1,095 per year, he’ll need to play 15 more years to get there — or until he’s 42. Then again, Rice played until he was 42.

To get there in only 10 years, Beckham needs to start ramping up his production, dramatically; he needs to average 1,749 receiving yards per year. To put that in perspective, 99 years of NFL history have produced only five seasons of 1,749 receiving yards or more: Calvin Johnson in 2012 (1,964); Julio Jones in 2015 (1,871); Jerry Rice in 1995 (1,848); Antonio Brown in 2015 (1,834); and Isaac Bruce in 1995 (1,781).

So it’s going to be very hard to get there in 15 years. It could be nearly impossible to do it in 10. And it would have been completely impossible to do it, if Beckham had given in to retirement temptations a couple of years ago.

“I could’ve done any sport in the world,” Beckham says during the interview. “Not many people know, but I used to talk to my momma and I’d be like, ‘Ma, if I was done doing this now, would you still be proud of me?’ And this was a couple of years ago, about two or three years ago.”

At the time, Beckham had grown weary of the game and “[e]verything around it.”

“To love something so much to a place where it is my everything, and to watch it be tainted, or all kinds of things be in the middle of it,” Beckham says. “Like, it hurt me to my soul. It be like loving someone and putting them on such a level to where life is about them and you love that person through anything. Through the good, the bad. And to watch them do something so heinous and vulgar. Something just so, like, almost unforgivable. You still love them, but it’s, like, Wow.

It seems like Beckham considered retirement because he finally realized that football isn’t football but football is business, something he apparently didn’t realize while playing without pay at LSU.

“I said in college that I fear the day that they make the game I love a business and not just the game I love,” Beckham sayd. “And as I slowly, surely, seen that, it changed my heart about it. But then, at the same time, I have to feed my family. I have to set myself up for one day when I have kids — like, I need to set their future.”

And so Beckham had a dilemma, and he chose continuing to play a sport that is a business and not just the game he loves. The fact that it’s a business, or course, allows Beckham to feed him family, to set himself up for when he has kids, and to set their future.

Frankly, it sounds like Beckham was naive until he realized that football is a business, that he no longer is naive about that, and that he has made the business decision to continue to embrace a game that isn’t really a game but a business, long enough to take care of the business of breaking a record that seems to be unbreakable.

65 responses to “Odell Beckham wants to beat Jerry Rice’s yardage record

  1. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do it, it’s not like he said he’s going to do it.

  2. Someday, maybe not anytime soon, the manchild will say something about TEAM goals and then he can be taken seriously. However, I fully expect him to fight a Gatorade cooler, kicking net or opposing cheerleader by week 8.

  3. Beckham will also need to put down the sticky hair gel and pick up some sticky glove gel.

  4. Has he even studied how serious Rice had to be to achieve what he did? There has never been a player that worked harder on all aspects of his game and himself to achieve the the highest level of success.

    I would be shocked if OBJ could keep up with Rice’s current fitness regime.

  5. joetoronto says:
    July 22, 2019 at 9:23 am
    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do it, it’s not like he said he’s going to do it.

    ————–

    No, but when you have unrealistic goals you don’t need to tell everyone. It’s like Irsay challenging his team to win 3 Super Bowls in a row. It makes no sense when you had a top 5 QB of all time and you could only muster one. It’s not that it’s a bad goal, but it’s not realistic and it doesn’t need to be said out loud.

  6. I want to walk on the moon too. I have a better chance at doing that because at least I won’t throw a temper tantrum whenever something happens I don’t like.

  7. Legends play in more than half their team games and worry about their team winning NOT being a legend. Obviously, Beckham doesn’t get it. Keep on talking nonsense.

  8. This is why OBJ will never succeed with whatever team he plays for…… it’s always about him & his goals & desires instead of doing what’s best for the TEAM…..
    Just another selfish talented player that will hold a team back….. sad but true

  9. Jerry Rice? Ha! No way in hell he sniffs that record, let alone break. He’ll be out of the league in 5 years.

  10. rogerdodger99 says:
    July 22, 2019 at 9:22 am
    You can start by not beating up kicking nets, Odell.
    _______________-
    He didn’t.
    The kicking net won.

  11. bullcharger says:
    July 22, 2019 at 9:38 am
    Has he even studied how serious Rice had to be to achieve what he did? There has never been a player that worked harder on all aspects of his game and himself to achieve the the highest level of success.

    I would be shocked if OBJ could keep up with Rice’s current fitness regime.
    ——————————————————————————————
    His workouts are well documented. OBJ is a machine. In a pass-happy league like the NFL, there’s no question that it’s a possibility. If he can stay around, we shall see.

  12. All these fools want to talk about is individual goals. How about 80 catches, 1,100 yards, 6 TDs and a playoff appearance? I get a feeling he would be happier with 120 for 1,600 and 22 while going 0 and 16…

  13. I don’t find this clown compelling at all unless you mean seeing/hearing him compels me to change the channel.

  14. Its all about OBJ to OBJ…. Meanwhile somewhere in the Northeast Tom Brady is trying to figure out how “he and his team” can win another SB

  15. dryzzt23 says:
    July 22, 2019 at 9:23 am
    I’m over hearing all these players talking about breaking unbreakable records.
    ———————-
    Let’s be fair. If he said his goal was a 1,500 yard season this same crowd would get all over him. Saying things like “Why don’t you focus on a real goal, like Jerry Rice’s career yardage record.”

  16. So let’s be clear here.
    Jerry Rice 19 years in the league 22,895 yards

    OBJ 5 years in the league 5,476 yards

  17. The amount of “me” you get from Beckham interviews is astounding even by pro athlete standards.

  18. Jerry Rice is and always will be in another stratosphere compared to this non football player !

  19. I’m surprised he didn’t say he was personally offended and felt disrespected that Rice held the record.

  20. mjimmym says:
    July 22, 2019 at 10:15 am
    All these fools want to talk about is individual goals. How about 80 catches, 1,100 yards, 6 TDs and a playoff appearance? I get a feeling he would be happier with 120 for 1,600 and 22 while going 0 and 16…
    ——————————————————————————————-
    How does one get that feeling when you’ve seen him get upset over losing in games where he balled out?

  21. SWFLPC.INC says:
    July 22, 2019 at 10:23 am
    Its all about OBJ to OBJ…. Meanwhile somewhere in the Northeast Tom Brady is trying to figure out how “he and his team” can win another SB
    ——————————————————————————————–
    If you think Tom Brady isn’t a narcissist who also obsesses over individual records you’re delusional

  22. I think maybe his first goal should be to play another full 16-game season. Because you’ll never catch the GOAT by missing 16 games in 2 years.

    OBJ doesn’t have the durability to even come close to Rice. He’ll never even enter the conversation.

  23. Let’s pump the breaks OBJ…..Let’s see if you can catch Ricky Proehl (8,878) before you start talking about 23,000. That’s a not in our lifetime quote with Jetson flying cars and daily trips to Mars.

  24. If Antonio Brown plays consistently well, he could approach Rice’s record in 8 years. That level of production and being free of injury is tough.

  25. A clown in any other uniform is still a clown.

    The most interesting thing in Cleveland will be the ego maniacs fighting for headlines.

    2-14 won’t get them many.

  26. youngnoize says:
    July 22, 2019 at 9:55 am
    bullcharger says:
    July 22, 2019 at 9:38 am
    Has he even studied how serious Rice had to be to achieve what he did? There has never been a player that worked harder on all aspects of his game and himself to achieve the the highest level of success.

    I would be shocked if OBJ could keep up with Rice’s current fitness regime.
    ——————————————————————————————
    His workouts are well documented. OBJ is a machine. In a pass-happy league like the NFL, there’s no question that it’s a possibility. If he can stay around, we shall see.

    ————–

    If he’s on track for 1200+ yards at 40 years old like Rice then I will pay attention.

  27. The hate is deep in this topic. You have an athlete, setting goals, nothing more. If he falls short, no one cares but OBJ. As it should be. He definitely has the right QB to give him an honest try towards the lofty goal. Can OBJ and Mayfield stick together for 10 seasons? Maybe, maybe not, but its more then likely, then more then not likely.

    I can tell you one thing, with OBJ’s breaks on the routes he makes, and the Long “go get it Ball” Baker throws, its going to give him a fast start to the goal, thats for sure.

  28. Why not say I wanna to top Rice’s receiving records and SB wins they never mention team goals just ME goals lol….

  29. Won’t have the self-discipline to stay in shape as good as Rice so won’t make it. and he is smaller and will take more injuries

  30. Let’s not forget Rice made those numbers in an era of legal downfield contact when safeties like Danny Copeland could legally decapitate a Wideout. He was on a perfect team for his style, but credit where due. Besides, it was a perfect team for his skill set because Walsh used his skill set perfectly and Rice rose to every occasion.

  31. He should have played tennis, golf or some other individual sport. All the things he alluded to were acts by others and nothing about his own petulent behavior. It’s not too late to grow up!

  32. Wow! Had to decide whether he wanted to quit, or break the all time yardage mark. Nothing in between. Geez, that’s right up there with Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies. He couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be a brain surgeon or a garbage man.

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