Odell Beckham has a defender in the man who once grabbed his crotch in mockery.
“You could say the same thing about me. You don’t want to tame it,” Mayfield told reporters Friday of Beckham’s much-maligned style. “You just let them be themselves and make plays. That’s who they are. When it comes down to it, the guys in that locker room, you’re going to love playing with them.
“And I know from Saquon (Barkley) and Sterling Shepard that I’m very close with, I know exactly who OBJ is inside the locker room and who he is to his teammates.”
At least for now, Mayfield doesn’t seem worried about his new offensive weapon — acquired from the Giants in last week’s stunner — causing problems in year two of the Browns renaissance.
And what better defender than the soon-to-be sophomore quarterback, who for all his antics at Oklahoma, has so far made members of Browns brass look like Albert Einstein for surprisingly selecting him No.1 last April. Mayfield led all rookie signal-callers with 27 touchdowns a year after grabbing his privates while taunting Kansas for not shaking his hand.
But for all the highlight one-handed grabs and 44 career receiving touchdowns Beckham reeled in with Big Blue, the Giants lost their patience following their fifth year together. The sideline blowups and verbal teammates attacks, among many dramatic occurrences, seemingly pushed GM Dave Gettleman to deal his generational talent to the Browns, the ink on the five-year, $90 million contract they agreed to last summer barely dried.
“We all understand the magnitude of his ability to play the game of football,” Browns GM John Dorsey said on a Thursday conference call. “I know Odell is very passionate. I know he is competitive. I know he can help this football team, and if you get a chance to acquire a guy like that, you know what, take a shot at it. We acquired him.”
For the measly price, it’s been deemed a low-risk gamble.