Despite the way in which he left Cleveland, Beckham Jr. said he harbors no ill will toward his former club and teammates.
“I made great bonds and memories with those guys over there,” he said Thursday. “Once you’re on a team, you build a brotherhood that lasts way longer than anything else. Not to be like, ‘Oh, it’s another game to me,’ but it will be fun to go against these guys who are friends and brothers of mine. But definitely no animosity on my end for sure. A lot of love and respect.”
The Browns waived Beckham Jr. almost exactly two years ago after both sides decided to part ways. The divorce, while amicable, was the result of lots of vitriol throughout the season. Beckham Jr. later signed with the Los Angeles Rams and won a Super Bowl in 2021. But in that same game, he tore his ACL and missed the entire 2022 season before he joined the Ravens this past offseason.
Beckham Jr. has since reconciled with some of his former colleagues in Cleveland. He reunited with head coach Kevin Stefanski over the summer and is reportedly on speaking teams with former Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Browns players had nothing but positive things to say about Beckham Jr. as well – some as former teammates and others as admirers.
“He’s great teammate,” Browns safety Grant Delpit said. “So I’ve got nothing but respect for that dude. But we step between these white lines, man it, it’s game on. So we could talk at the end but I’m not really worried about that right now.”
“They tell me everything about him,” second-year cornerback Martin Emerson said. “Great receiver, how he can change speeds, get out of breaks, great hands, great receiver. They told me a lot of stories about him when he was here, so we’ve got a matchup going there. … I was looking up to Odell when I was a kid.”
While Beckham Jr. hasn’t had a statistical season like he’s had in the past, the 10-year veteran caught his first touchdown this past week since the 2021 season. He has 19 receptions for 218 yards on the year.
Now, he’ll go up against a vaunted Browns secondary with Delpit, Emerson, Denzel Ward and possibly Greg Newsome II that’s allowed the fewest receiving yards and the lowest competition percentage in the NFL.