Boy, that Odell Beckham Jr. trade really shook up things in the NFL, right?
There is a lot of excitement about the Cleveland Browns right now after they worked out a deal to acquire Beckham from the Giants on Tuesday night.
Cleveland’s offense now includes quarterback Baker Mayfield, running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (when he is eligible to return is still not clear), receivers Beckham and Jarvis Landry, and tight end David Njoku.
Does the Browns’ arsenal rival the Chiefs? Some national writers were making the case. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, however, wasn’t buying it.
Nevertheless, NFL writers were gushing over the Browns and their offense. Here is a sample of what people were saying:
USA Today’s Henry McKenna wrote a story with the headline, “The Odell Beckham trade gives the Browns the most complete roster in the AFC.” This is an excerpt of what he wrote: “Get used to the Cleveland Browns winning football games. They’re going to notch a lot of wins in 2019 — and beyond. The team’s trade for receiver Odell Beckham Jr solidifies their claim as the best constructed roster in the AFC. They may just be the team to beat. …
“(T)he Browns are built to challenge the Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers next year. The Browns look like a legitimate contender … if they can get over the mental hurdle of being the Browns.”
Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports wrote a story headlined “Odell Beckham trade could make the Cleveland Browns the NFL’s No. 1 offense in 2019.” Here is part of what he wrote: “It would be wild to guarantee that the Browns will reach such heights. However, we should not be so quick to scrap it from the range of outcomes. At the very least, it’s easy to make the case an eruption could occur in Cleveland this year that vaults the team to sights they’ve never seen before. The on-paper talent for this squad is simply too immense. The Browns could be the NFL’s No. 1 offense in 2019. …
“We could look back on Tuesday’s trade for Odell Beckham as just the beginning of something special. The next chapter in the story of the Cleveland Browns revival. The moment an offense that would single-handedly win fantasy football championships was given a dose of nitrous. The day the balance of powers in the AFC shifted.
“The Cleveland Browns could be the NFL’s best offense in 2019. Those are real worlds you can say to form an incredibly believable argument. And it feels amazing. Believe the hype.”
Bill Bender of the Sporting News wrote a story with this headline: “Odell Beckham Jr. gives Browns an offense that will compete with best in AFC.” This is part of what he wrote: “The Browns’ offense has the potential to be the best in the AFC — and perhaps the entire NFL — with Odell Beckham Jr. on board. …
“Cleveland ranked 13th in yards (368.8) and 20th in points (22.4) last season, so there remains a lot of ground to cover to catch the Chiefs, who led the NFL with 425.6 yards and 35.3 points per game. The Patriots were a top-five offense with 393.4 yards and 27.3 points per game. Kansas City and New England are the standard in the conference right now, but on paper, the Browns have the personnel to run with them. “
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote an analysis with the headline, “With Odell Beckham Jr. trade, the Browns just became Super Bowl contenders.” This is a snippet of what he wrote: “To an offense that included (receiver) Jarvis Landry, promising tight end David Njoku and impressive rookie running back Nick Chubb, the Browns have added Beckham and troubled but supremely talented running back Kareem Hunt. At the skill positions, on paper — and depending on Hunt’s availability should the league suspend him for any length of time after the Chiefs released him following the surfacing of video that appeared to show him pushing and kicking a woman — this might be the most talented unit outside of Kansas City.”
Chris Wessling of NFL.com wrote that the Baker Mayfield-Beckham connection is now one the league’s best.
“That tandem is talented enough to challenge the likes of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes-to-Tyreek Hill, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers-to-Davante Adams and Houston’s Deshaun Watson-to-DeAndre Hopkins as the NFL’s most talented and productive. …
“In just over a year, Dorsey has stockpiled a previous barren roster, perhaps even transforming a laughingstock into a Super Bowl hopeful.”
Following the same season that his record for most receiving yards by a tight end was broken, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement. Gronkowski made the announcement via his instagram page.
Gronkowski was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft and made himself a household name the moment he set foot on the field in his 2010 rookie season. Paired with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the two were a lethal offensive force, winning three Super Bowls and Gronkowski getting into the Pro Bowl five times during his career. He broke several records along the way, one of the more notable being the most receiving yards by a tight end, breaking it in 2011 with 1,327 yards. The record was later broken in the final game of the 2018 season by Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and hours later, Kelce’s new total was broken by San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle.
Gronkowski’s on-field play in later years was hampered by injuries leaving him in and out of lineups following his record setting 2011. Gronkowski would not play a full season of games for the rest of his career.
Gronk, as referred to by fans and the media, was also known for his antics off the field. Having a love of partying and interesting interview segments made him a fan favorite both in New England and in the NFL. The phrase “Gronk smash,” originally associated with the Marvel Comics character the Incredible Hulk (Hulk smash!) was a phrase associated with the tight end.
So what happens now? In 2018 there were rumors that Gronkowski would be interested in professional wrestling and the WWE. Whether he pursues that or another option, like hopping into the commentator’s booth on Sundays is yet to be determined.
This leaves the NFL tight end pecking order a trinity between Kittle, Kelce, and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. In 2018, Kittle carved his way into one of the big three and solidified himself once he broke Gronkowski’s, and later Kelce’s receiving yards record in the same day. He and Kelce will now be battling for who is the best tight end in the league.
Gronk on the other hand will go fight to see if he’s one of the best tight ends ever. Asking if he will show up in Canton is an easy answer.