The idea is for Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham, Jr., to make noise on the field for the Cleveland Browns, you know, the way Bernie Kozar and Ozzie Newsome and Frank Ryan and Paul Warfield once did.
The problem to this point is Mayfield and Beckham seem obsessed at the moment listening to themselves talk. Once again, they are creating a clamor, something beginning to become all-too characteristic for both knuckleheads.
Both involve the New York Giants. Wow, Mayfield just delivered a right cross to the kisser of quarterback Daniel Jones, the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones,” said Mayfield. “Blows my mind.”
Poor Jones. He didn’t ask to be drafted so high, but his selection has caused many Giants critics to believe the team over-reached at the six slot to take a player they likely could have grabbed with one of their other two first-round picks (17 and 30).
Jones, anointed the successor to Eli Manning, has faced intense criticism because of it, many saying his talent was not worthy of the sixth-overall pick. After all, he won only 17 games as a starter for Duke, one of the ACC’s traditionally middle-of-the-road programs.
“Some people overthink it,” said Mayfield. “That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”
The underpinning of the statement is Mayfield believes Jones is not the kind of quarterback that can lead the Giants back to prominence in the NFC. Jones has led a pair of touchdown drives and completed 16-of-19 passes in his first two preseason games.
On Tuesday, Jones reacted to Mayfield’s comments from Giants training camp.
“I try not to listen to much that’s said. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that,” said Jones. “I heard that before, I kind of have the same mindset, I certainly have a lot to focus on here, I have a lot to worry about here and I’m focused on that. It’s been good, but just focused on what I’m doing here.”
Jones said he doesn’t know Mayfield and has no idea why he would single him out for criticism.
“I have never spoken to him,” said Jones. “He has an opinion, a lot of people have opinions. … I don’t think that’s a main motivator for me. I think there is a lot of things before that that motivate me, to be honest.”
Then there is Beckham, the former Giants wide receiver, a player of great talent who proved to be too much of a free spirit for their organization. They traded him to the Browns in the offseason.
This is what he told SI:
“This wasn’t no business move,” he told the magazine. “This was personal. They thought they’d send me here to die.”
No Odell, the NFL sent Johnny Manziel to Cleveland to die. The Giants sent you there because they couldn’t stand you.
This comes after the personality profile in GQ in which he said he felt disrespected by the trade.
“This is me being honest: This team has not been good for the last six years. Period,” he said ” … I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive. They were getting primetime games, still, as a 5-11 team. Why? Because people want to see the show. You want to see me play. That’s just real rap.
“I’m not sitting here like, ‘It’s because of me.’ But let’s just be real. That’s why we’re still getting primetime games. I felt disrespected they weren’t even man enough to even sit me down to my face and tell me what’s going on.
“I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t in a good place. And like I told you earlier, I feel like everything is about happiness, and I just was not.”
This seems like a good time to remind everyone Beckham, a first-round selection in 2014, signed a five-year, $95 million extension last summer, the truest sign the Giants planned on him being around for the long term. But he finally wore out their patience and was dealt to the Browns for safety Jabrill Peppers plus first- and second-round picks.
Beckham claims he somehow knows the Giants had better offers for him, but decided to deal him to Cleveland knowing the sad state the organization has been in.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Mayfield took a shot at Giants fans critical of Beckham.
“He’s here to work, and he wants to be surrounded by people who love and support him and allow him to be himself,” said Mayfield. “He’s here (in Cleveland) to play in front of fans who actually care, who will actually show up to every game and pack the stadium and love him for who he is.”
The truth: The Giants have sucked the last three seasons and still have averaged close to 77,000 for home games. They have a season-ticket waiting list that’s decades long. So Mayfield needs to shut up about that.
Mayfield has a history of inflammatory comments and actions dating to his career at Oklahoma, where he famously planted the Sooners flag at midfield after a win at Ohio State. He also has grabbed his crotch in the direction of the Kansas bench after none of the Jayhawks captains would shake his hand before a game.
One of the highpoints of the 2019 season is going to be listening to Mayfield and Beckham offer commentary during its highs and lows. It’s even money that will be more entertaining than the Browns season.