The Cleveland Browns have announced they will release wide receiver 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,” said Browns GM Andrew Berry in a press release. “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.”
Early Wednesday, it was announced that the Browns excused Beckham from practice despite the receiver being ready to participate. Later on, Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski told his players that Beckham is not considered to be on the team and was told to stay home.
This comes a day after the trade deadline passed. According to ESPN reporter Kimberley A. Martin, the New Orleans Saints discussed a trade for Beckham, but the two sides could not come to terms on a deal.
The Browns seemed to not have any plans to trade the former Pro Bowler. However, Beckham’s father did share a video claiming to show Baker Mayfield not throwing his son the ball in situations where he was open.
That gives the sense that Beckham and/or the people around him have grown frustrated with not being able to develop chemistry with Mayfield.
In Beckham’s first season with the team in 2019, he barely crossed 1,000 yards and only four touchdowns. Since then, he has struggled through injuries, and the Browns offense has seemingly worked better when Beckham was out.
Right now, it isn’t clear what happened to shift this so much. However, it is safe to say there’s a real chance Cincinnati won’t have to worry about game planning for the wideout on Sunday. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor didn’t speculate on the situation, despite saying they check the injury reports.
Cincinnati will likely now get to focus on Jarvis Landry while only having players like Donovan Peoples-Jones and Rashard Higgins out wide. They will also likely see a heavy dose of Austin Hooper and David Njoku, which also allows them to lean on the run with Mayfield still playing through a shoulder injury.
Cleveland adopted a mentality of people either being with them or against them when Mayfield came to the team, and following Hue Jackson’s firing. It appears that maybe behind closed doors Beckham chose a way the team did not agree with.