The NFL trade deadline has come and gone, and Odell Beckham Jr. remains a member of the Browns. At least for now.
Beckham’s relationship with Cleveland has clearly soured, and the drama surrounding the talented wideout has reached a tipping point. On Friday, ProFootballTalk reported that the Browns plan to release Beckham once his contract has been restructured.
On Tuesday, Odell Beckham Sr. posted a video to Instagram showing missed chances to throw the ball to his son, and LeBron James showed support for Beckham by sending a tweet that included, the hashtag, “FreeOBJ.”
MORE: Breaking down Baker Mayfield’s pass tendencies with Odell Beckham Jr.
“After careful consideration, internal discussions and conversations with Odell and his representation, we’ve determined that it is in the best interest of all parties involved that Odell no longer play for the Cleveland Browns,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a statement on Friday. “We appreciate all his efforts and contributions while in Cleveland, but we’ve just reached a point where it is best that we move forward as a team without Odell. We are finalizing the process of granting Odell his release and we wish him well as he continues his career.”
What happened with Odell Beckham Jr.
The Browns made a major splash in acquiring Beckham from the Giants in the hopes of providing Mayfield with another star wide receiver to slot in the offense alongside Jarvis Landry.
Beckham’s tenure in Cleveland has been a disappointment, to say the least. After posting three 1,300-yard receiving seasons in five years in New York, Beckham has struggled to make a similar impact. He caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards in 2019, a career-low for a full season in both targets and yards.
He missed half the 2020 season with a torn ACL, but between the seven games played in 2020 and six in 2021, he has combined for just 40 receptions and 551 yards and three touchdowns.
Beckham Sr. believes this to be the fault of Mayfield for inadequately getting the ball to his son.
After the video came out, Mayfield said that he understands that Beckham Sr. wants to see his son succeed, and that he can’t blame him for that.
“I want Odell to succeed,” Mayfield said, according to ESPN. “That’s where we were at — or at least so I thought.”
MORE: Baker Mayfield comments on Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. situation
Regardless of who’s to blame for Beckham’s struggles, it is clear that Beckham wants out of Cleveland.
According to ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin, Beckham wanted to leave the team, and that while there were some discussions on him being dealt to the Saints, they couldn’t agree to a deal given how much money he is owed.
I’m told there were discussions re: Odell going to the #Saints — but both sides couldn’t agree on a workable deal, given how much OBJ is owed the rest of the year.
Plus, there still is optimism in the #Browns building that OBJ can be a big part of their second-half playoff push
— KimberLEY A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) November 2, 2021
According to Sportrac, Beckham is owed $14.5 million in base salary in 2021.
Since the deadline passed, Beckham has been sitting out from practice, including on Thursday, when he was excused again from practice, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
#Browns WR Odell Beckham will be excused from practice again today, source says. We’ll see where this goes but talks continue.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 4, 2021
MORE: Odell Beckham Jr. misses practice as agents discuss future with Browns
This comes after Browns coach Kevin Stefanski reportedly said that Beckham might as well not even be on the team, according to Bally Sport’s Michael Silver.
Earlier today, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski told his players that Odell Beckham Jr. is essentially not on the team right now and that the WR has been told to stay at home.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) November 3, 2021
At least for the moment, Beckham is staying put on the team. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that the team would be willing to just keep him on the roster rather than waive him to this point.
Browns/OBJ may be able to reach some sort of financial resolution to end his time in Cleveland but as of now team not willing to waive him, and is willing to burn a 53-man roster spot just for him to stay away and excuse him indefinitely. Thats a new one for me. This isn’t over
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 3, 2021
Regardless of his official status with the team, it seems all but certain that when the Browns take on the AFC North rival Bengals on Sunday, Beckham will not be on the field.