Odell Beckham Jr. is focusing his attention and energy on on-field success in 2020, even if a recent story indicates he's experienced some trepidation.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry was asked about his receiver's level of interest and commitment to playing football amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and despite what Beckham was quoted as saying Monday, it sounds as if his concerns have been addressed.
"Having a player of Odell's stature on the roster, obviously, he generates a lot of attention. Odell is very mindful that he has to be conscientious with his words," Berry said Tuesday. "That being said, we have had plenty of dialogue and conversation with Odell, not only just through the summer but certainly as he has returned to Cleveland, and that has been a positive thing. We feel really good about everything that the league and the [NFL]PA have agreed upon and everything that we have done in Cleveland. I would say in terms of Odell, he has returned and really been focused on working hard. He has been very engaged in everything that we have done in the classroom. He is really focused on having a great year."
In a Wall Street Journal story published Monday, Beckham was quoted as saying he felt as if the 2020 NFL season should not go on as planned.
"I just feel like the season shouldn't happen and I'm prepared for it to not happen and I wouldn't mind not having it," Beckham said, among other things in his sitdown with the publication.
An important distinction that is too often lost in the shortform space that is social media is when the interview with Beckham took place. As the WSJ made clear in an editor's note, Beckham made these comments before the NFL and NFL Players Association came to an agreement on new health and safety protocols on July 24. He's since had a chance to view those protocols at work in the redesign of the Browns' facility for increased safety, and judging by his attendance and Berry's comments, he approves.
The Browns tweeted out a video of Beckham on Monday just to make things crystal clear on the topic.
Beckham hasn't been shy when he has an opinion on a pressing matter, and when asked about playing football amid a pandemic, it's no surprise he answered honestly. Now that camp is underway and operating under stringent requirements and protocols, it seems to no longer be an issue with the star receiver. Now fully healed from offseason core muscle surgery, Beckham can focus on working toward being the player fans expect to see when he trots out in brown and orange this fall.