Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield have both fought back against Colin Cowherd's negative opinions about them. It's hard to blame them but at the same time it's also probably unproductive: Whether or not they realize it, they actually hold the fate of these takes in their own hands. If they go out and wreck the league, win the AFC North, and then go on to win the Super Bowl, what's he going to say then?
Mayfield's sparring with the FS1 host dates back over a year, and culminated with an in-studio debate throwdown. It's flared up several times since. Beckham went on a several tweet response diatribe against Colin on Wednesday after his '10 most memorable moments' list for the receiver included the famous one-handed catch and nine … more negative moments.
The quarterback and receiver probably feel powerless and in a damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don't corner as it pertains to whether they respond to Cowherd or just let it go. When they respond they are helping him immensely. He's not just driving the conversation, he's a big player in it. Beyond that, they're not out here responding to nobodies, just like Colin's not out there criticizing nobodies. But if they ignore it, he continues prodding them for perpetuity.
However, they actually hold the trump card: If they go out and beat the tar out of everyone else and undeniably form the best quarterback-wide receiver combo in the NFL, then they impel a Where Colin Was Wrong segment. If they win Super Bowls — plural — and Colin's still out there blasting their swagger and leadership, no one could take him seriously.
Now, there are 22 people on a football field and it's not as though a quarterback and wide receiver on their own can snap their fingers, sprinkle some magical leadership juice, and drive championships. However, between them they have a pretty fair measure of control such that if they're together for several seasons if they're the best they should, at some point, reach the top of the mountain. The Browns enter next season with the fifth-best odds in Vegas to win the Super Bowl. Go out and do it. Prove Colin wrong.