Odell Beckham Jr. will finallly have his wish to be out of Cleveland.
According to ProFootballTalk, Beckham is expected to be released on Friday once Beckham and the Browns are able to revise the terms of his contract. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the team is working to reduce his cap number to lower its financial obligation to Beckham.
Correction: the Browns are converting base salary into signing bonus to lower his cap number in an attempt to save money.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2021
Later Friday morning, Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a statement that the Browns will release Beckham.
“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,” Berry said. “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.”
Beckham is owed $8 million more in base salary; if the team is able to reduce what he’s owed, Schefter reported that it will help other teams claim him on waivers. ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports that the revised contract is expected to be finalized within the next few days.
Schefter reported later Friday that the Browns agreed to “remove” the final two years of Beckham’s contract, which will allow him to become a free agent at the end of this season. The agreement is subject to approval by the players association. Beckham will be placed on waivers Monday, Schefter reported; should he clear waivers (a claiming team would be responsible for $7.25 million in salary, the figure in the reworked contract, per Schefter), he would become an unrestricted free agent, which would allow him to sign with any team he chooses.
Beckham has reportedly wanted out of Cleveland, and so have those around him. Earlier in the week, Beckham’s father posted a video to his Instagram account showing how Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been unable to get the ball to his son.
Beckham missed practice on both Wednesday and Thursday as the relationship between the talented wide receiver and the Browns had clearly soured.
The star wide receiver who once made a fantastic one-handed grab with the Giants hasn’t been seen in the same way since he arrived in Cleveland. In his three seasons with the Browns, he’s caught 114 passes for 1,586 yards and seven touchdowns, compared with 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in five years in New York.
In part, the past few years have been marred by injuries. He missed most of the 2017 season with a fractured ankle, playing in just four games. He then missed more than half of the 2020 season and the first two games of 2021 with a torn ACL.
In his first three seasons in New York, he averaged 107 receptions and 1,534 receiving yards per 16 games. Since then, he has averaged 77 receptions and 1,045 receiving yards per 16 games.