CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Brown approached the NFL trade deadline, which passed at 4 p.m. Tuesday, with a quiet grace—not making any moves before the window closed and remaining dedicated to moving forward with the current roster. Approaching the day with a quiet grace can not be said for those outside of the organization, as was seen across social media Tuesday.
On the morning of the deadline, Odell Beckham Jr.'s dad took to Instagram, sharing an 11-minute compilation video of moments his son appeared to be open but wasn't passed to by Baker Mayfield. Beckham's dad was also active in the comments, agreeing with some speculation that Mayfield was intentionally missing Odell Beckham Jr.
Hours after Beckham's dad posted on Instagram and social media was buzzing with opinions, NBA superstar LeBron James weighed in on it, as did Damian Lillard and Dez Bryant, among others.
But perhaps the most perplexing response came from former Browns receiver Dwyane Bowe, who signed a contract featuring a $9 million guarantee and went on to play seven games and record five catches for 53 yards before the team waived him. Bowe felt his situation in Cleveland mirrored the current Beckham situation.
The rumblings came two days after a Browns loss to the Steelers that saw Beckham get just two targets. His one reception for six yards marked a career-low for the wide receiver.
Beckham ranks 150th in the league in receptions per target, 138th in receptions per route run, 136th in yards after the catch per reception and 31st in drop rate, per ESPN's Jake Trotter.
Meanwhile, Mayfield's completion percentage has dropped from the astounding 81.63% through the first two games of the season before his shoulder injury to 61.94% in the six games since.
Some Browns fans are blaming Beckham for his lack of production, others are blaming Mayfield. Some are blaming Kevin Stefanski's play-calling, while others are blaming the health of the offensive line.
No matter who is to blame, not that any one person could be blamed, the fact of the matter is the Browns didn't move Beckham, and Mayfield is still working to earn his contract extension and solidify himself as the franchise quarterback, the offensive line has the challenge to continue stepping up as some starters nurse injuries, and Stefanski will now need to find a way to manage all of the recent drama and get the team ready to put a good product on the field for the remainder of the season.
The biggest change this organization has seen under the Andrew Berry-Stafanski regime is a culture change. Last season showcased that culture change with a trip to the playoffs—changing the way both players and fans saw the team. Even during this offseason, the new winning culture and brotherhood of the Browns was as strong as ever. Tuesday's social media shenanigans may have served as a setback to the progress Berry and Stefanski made, but not all is lost for the Browns.
With the trade deadline officially out of the way, the organization can return its focus on its second divisional matchup of the season, this time facing the Cincinnati Bengals on the road. We'll see how the rest of the week unfolds leading up to the upcoming game—but the Browns can do one simple thing on Sunday to put all of the recent drama and chaos to bed:
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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