(L to R) Myles Garrett, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield on April 1, 2019

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

Odell Beckham Jr. believes trade to Browns is one of the best things to happen in his life

All-Pro WR says “I think this moment is gonna be more iconic than we all realize right now”

April 2, 2019
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Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – This was no April Fools’ joke.

Odell Beckham Jr., sporting an orange hat featuring the Browns’ iconic Brownie, was introduced Monday afternoon in front of a jam-packed media room with ESPN and NFL Network providing live coverage of the proceedings.

“This can’t be real,” Beckham said with a smile.

Oh, it is real. No dream. No joke.

Beckham, the LeBron James of the NFL, is now a Cleveland Brown and the Browns are now America’s team.

“This is the most people we’ve had in this room ever,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said.

“By far,” receiver Jarvis Landry added.

Beckham’s arrival, coupled with the selection of Mayfield and trade for Landry last year, has turned the once doormat and laughingstock of the league for the better part of two decades into a force to be reckoned with.

“He is of course one of the best players in the National Football League on any given Sunday,” head coach Freddie Kitchens said. “Like a lot of great players, the one thing that they always strive to be on is a good team, I think, because team accomplishments help individual players, and vice-versa, the individual players help team accomplishments. When you can marry the both together, that is when you really have something, and you have something special.”

History could be in the making, and although visibly appearing still in shock that he is now in Cleveland, Beckham could feel the significance of the day.  

“I think this moment is gonna be more iconic than we all realize right now,” Beckham, who was flanked by Mayfield on his left and Landry on his right with Garrett seated next to Landry, said.

Beckham, Mayfield, Landry and Garret aren’t quite The Beatles, but if they are able to do what everyone expects them to do – end the Browns’ 16-year playoff drought and win the first division title for the franchise since 1989 – they’ll be treated like them in Cleveland.

The Cavs had the Big Three. The Browns now have the Fab Four.

“I can feel the excitement,” Beckham said. “To be a part of it is exciting for me because it's like you want to be around guys who want to win, one, but you want to be around fans who want [to win] like, this is, this is, I can't even put it into words.

“It's a football town. I heard this is a football town. I'm looking forward to finding out.”

Beckham’s dream of teaming up with Landry, his childhood friend and college teammate at LSU, in the NFL became reality on March 12 when Browns general manager John Dorsey agreed to send safety Jabrill Peppers, right guard Kevin Zeitler and the Nos. 17 and 95 picks in the draft to the Giants for Beckham and Pro Bowl defensive end Olivier Vernon.

After spending years fantasizing and talking about it between them, here they are in Cleveland – once the outhouse of the NFL now turned penthouse.

“I feel like we spoke this into existence almost,” Beckham said. “Him and I dreamed of this. This is something that we talked about at 17, ‘I’m going to live right down the street from you. We’re going to be on the same team,’ everything, and it’s like surreal.”

While it’s a dream come true for the two Louisiana natives, Mayfield might have been the happiest man in the room.

“I'll probably just close my eyes and throw it and hope one of them catches it,” Mayfield said.

“You put together two LSU Tigers next to each other, it’s a dangerous duo. It’s going to be a lot of fun but it’s something you can only dream about.”

Beckham admitted that it’s taken him some time to come to terms with the blockbuster trade that interrupted his European vacation last month but he’s excited for a fresh start in Cleveland, where football is king.

“I think I’ve come to grips with everything,” Beckham said. “It’ll be one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life.”

Beckham, who is one of the NFL’s most prominent social media stars with nearly 13 million Instagram followers, believes landing in Cleveland will only help his brand.

“I don’t need to be in New York, I don’t need to be in L.A., I can be in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, it doesn’t matter where I’m at,” Beckham said. “I’ve created this, what I would call a legacy, so it never really crossed my mind, oh, we’re going to Cleveland, or worrying about marketing or worrying about any of that. I care about football. I care about winning. I didn’t step into this game to be famous, that’s just what fell into my lap. We talked about legendary, we talked about a legacy, we talked about gold jackets, that’s our conversations.”

James, who grew up in Akron and became the face of the NBA in Cleveland, helped put Beckham, who jokingly asked James to borrow his Bath township mansion, at ease about his new home.

“He gave me a little bit of advice,” Beckham said. “He just said you’re going to love it, you’re going to love Cleveland. I said, ‘I can’t wait.’ “That’s like my idol, so it’s the person I look up to the most, that’s my guy.

“To see what he did to bring a championship here, I just want to be able to do that same thing.”

If they thought a packed media room on a chilly Monday in April was impressive, they have no idea what downtown would be like for the parade if they manage to do what has been the impossible since 1964 and win it all.