Scoring 42 points with no giveaways in a loss to the Chargers, the Browns didn’t have many problems offensively in Week Five.
Really, the Browns haven’t had many issues with their offense at all in 2021. The club enters Week Six atop the league in rushing, fifth in total offense, and sixth in points scored.
And yet, there’s still the Odell Beckham Jr. conundrum.
Sunday’s loss to Los Angeles was Beckham’s third game back from tearing his ACL last season. But he had only three targets while playing 81 percent of Cleveland’s offensive snaps, recording a pair of catches for 20 yards. Beckham had nine targets in his first game back, catching five passes for 77 yards. Then he received seven targets against Minnesota, making a pair of receptions for 27 yards.
On Wednesday, head coach Kevin Stefanski said Beckham is a big part of what they want to do offensively. But sometimes the right decision is for quarterback Baker Mayfield to throw to someone else.
“I look at each game and what do we have to do to win? What do we need to do to go score a bunch of points?” Stefanski said in his press conference. “As I’ve mentioned before, he’s a dynamic football player. He’s very front-of-mind when we’re game-planning, when we’re calling plays. Sometimes the defense dictates that the ball goes elsewhere and we’re comfortable with that because we have good players elsewhere.”
With a few weeks to the deadline, the Browns could trade Beckham. But it’s unclear what kind of return they would get for a player with an expensive salary who frankly hasn’t looked dynamic since returning from injury.
Still, at this point, it shouldn’t be a shock if Cleveland at least explores the option.