On his 29th birthday, the Cleveland Browns are parting ways with three time Pro Bowler and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
If a team decides to claim him on waivers, then that team will pay Beckham Jr his remaining $6.4 million in guaranteed money. However, if OBJ goes unclaimed, the Browns will be responsible to pay him that money.
Adding another wrinkle to things, Cleveland is reportedly trying to convert some of Beckham’s bonus into salary, which would make it easier for a team to claim him — thus relieving them some of the remaining salary obligation.
Since being traded to Cleveland in 2019, Beckham has never really worked out in Cleveland. During his first season with his new team, he recorded 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns. At the time, this was his lowest amount of receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns aside from his 2017 campaign in which OBJ fractured his ankle and only played in four games that year.
It only went downhill from there. In 2020, Beckham’s season was cut short when he tore his ACL in Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals. In those seven games (really only six since he was injured so early in the final game he played), Beckham tallied just 23 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
Things were looking up for OBJ heading into the 2021 season and many expected it to be one of the best comeback stories in the league. Well, it’s safe to say that this was not the case. OBJ actually ended up missing the start of the year and didn’t make his return until the Browns’ Week 3 matchup against the Chicago Bears. In his six games in Cleveland this season, Beckham only recorded up 17 catches for 232 yards.
After the Browns’ Week 8 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Odell Beckham, Sr. (OBJ’s father) took to his own Instagram and posted a video from YouTube that was showing the times OBJ was wide open and Baker Mayfield did not throw him the ball. In the comments, Beckham, Sr. began bashing Mayfield as well. This all came after OBJ was only targeted one time for six yards in the team’s latest loss.
Mayfield said the next day in his press conference with reporters “Hurt? No. Surprised? Yes” when asked about his thoughts regarding Beckham Sr.’s comments.
It was then first reported by CBS Sports and USA Today’s Josina Anderson that Beckham Jr was excused from Wednesday’s practice and head coach Kevin Stefanski later said that Andrew Berry is in talks with OBJ’s reps on the next steps for the star receiver.
Later that day, Michael Silver first reported that Stefanski told the players that Beckham, Jr. was essentially not on the team and was instructed to stay home.
After a great deal of excitement in 2019 for the arrival of Odell Beckham Jr, the Browns are finally moving on from OBJ, and Browns fans should wish him well.