Myles Garrett on Beckham deal: 'Tide has turned'


As pro football's first-overall pick in 2017, Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett was chained to a wandering Cleveland squad that lost 16 consecutive games amid the chuckles of millions.

Are those dark days of torture gone for good?

On the heels of a headline-exploding swap for ex-Giants wideout Odell Beckham, Cleveland's football team finds itself stationed in alien territory.

"Absolutely," Garrett told NFL Network's Total Access on Tuesday when asked if the Browns were the new team to beat in the AFC North. "I think the tide has turned and we can't wait to get out there and prove it."

Browns general manager John Dorsey has been full of surprises during his brief run in Cleveland, but Garrett acknowledged his teammates, as a collective, felt a disturbance in the Force in recent days -- the good kind of disturbance.

"I did," Garrett said. "I'm not going to say I predicted anything, but it was surprising to me that we had a very quiet Monday [in free agency] and we were hearing a lot of inklings about OBJ coming to us, getting him on a trade, so, you know, making this happen, I was kind of expecting something big."

Former LSU barnstormers reunited, Beckham and bestie/wideout Jarvis Landry create one of the game's juiciest -- and richest -- receiver rooms, but the Browns were willing to pay big bucks for the finest tandem they've housed since Reggie Langhorne and Webster Slaughter laid waste to the rough-and-tumble AFC Central of days old.

All of this is a pleasant surprise for Garrett, who came to the Browns when they were a national joke, deconstructed daily by hobby-horse bloggers, talkers and desk-jockey tweet-elves during his early days with the franchise. Per his words: "I think it's amazing for us."

We live in new times. Eras uncharted. The Browns making moves and floating upward from football's deepest swamp to airy new climes. And we've yet to discuss the pieces -- Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson -- added to a dangerous defensive front tasked with scattering the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals.

Perhaps all of this crumbles away. With signal-caller Baker Mayfield, though, anything seems possible. With Odell Beckham flying beside him, we've moved into new territories of the mind.

Good luck finding a more interesting team in the AFC. Or the NFL. Or anywhere.