Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. recently passed a physical coming off the torn ACL he suffered last October, and one would think all involved would be celebrating the fact that Beckham isn't starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Instead, quarterback Baker Mayfield again found himself addressing the elephant in the room that he played better last fall and early winter after Beckham went down for the season.
"When it comes down to the chemistry stuff, it's every rep matters for us, but then, just the terminology and speaking outside the building, not just about football, that goes such a long way when it comes to chemistry that trust factor," Mayfield explained Thursday while adding he and Beckham have made "huge strides" in their on-the-field working relationship, per Jake Trotter of ESPN.
"And I know he feels the same way."
Browns fans are likely familiar with the numbers by now. Mayfield produced the NFL's third-best total QBR from Week 7 to Week 15 last season without Beckham in the lineup, and ESPN Stats & Information reports the pair connected on only 55.6% of pass attempts from Week 1 of the 2019 campaign through Beckham's final appearance last October.
In short, trade rumors suggesting the Browns could deal Beckham for other pieces won't quiet down unless he and Mayfield start delivering Pro Bowl numbers beginning this September. After all, Mayfield has already proven he can win without OBJ.