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Monson: Does OBJ really make the Browns offense worse?

There is a lot of talk that the Browns should look to move on from Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason, trading him away and chalking his acquisition up as a good idea at the time that didn’t really pan out.

The reason that’s such a popular opinion is that there is a growing weight of evidence that the team has been better without him in the lineup. The Browns made the postseason, beat Pittsburgh and gave the Chiefs everything they could handle in 2020 — all without Beckham.

It’s certainly fair to say that adding him has yet to work out, but I’m not sure you can point to his presence in the lineup as actually a drag on the offense or a causative effect on the numbers that are worse when he is there.

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Since Beckham arrived, the Browns' passing attack averages 0.067 EPA per play, but it's only 0.010 EPA per play when Beckham is on the field and running a route. Mayfield’s passer rating when targeting Beckham is 80.1, which is nearly 10 points lower than his overall passer rating over that span. 

Cleveland’s offense has been worse overall when Beckham is on the field compared to when he isn't, and it's been worse when targeting him compared to going elsewhere with the football. But that clearly needs a little more context.

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