The Cleveland Browns have announced the finalizing of their release of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., via a Friday press release.
“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 president/general manager Andrew Berry announced 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.”
Beckham, who turned 29 years old on Friday, leaves Cleveland after 29 games with 114 receptions for 1,586 yards and seven touchdowns. He also recorded eight rushes for 96 yards and one touchdown.
On Wednesday, Berry had begun negotiating Beckham’s exit from the team with the receiver’s agents while also excusing him from practice. Said process included converting Beckham’s signing bonus to salary to reduce his salary cap figure as well as money owed.
Beckham is now subject to waivers. Should no team claim him by 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8, he will become a free agent. The contract adjustment is expected to make Beckham more attractive to claim of waivers because a team that claims him will inherit the contract.
Beckham’s release comes just after his second consecutive excuse from practice by the Browns on Thursday, after his father posted a video on Instagram titled “Odell Beckham is Always Open for the Cleveland Browns in 2021.” Beckham Sr. then went on to criticize Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield while responding to comments on the post. The created social media buzz that included LeBron James chiming in and using the hashtag “#FreeOBJ.”
Mayfield said on Wednesday that he had not spoken with Beckham and that he was “surprised” by the post.
The situation was the finale of seemingly ongoing chemistry issues between the quarterback and receiver after Beckham was acquired by the New York Giants in a blockbuster trade in March 2019.
Injuries also hampered the former Pro Bowler during his Browns tenure. In 2019, OBJ recorded over 1000 receiving yards despite working through a core muscle injury. In 2020, Beckham suffered an ACL tear that ended his season just seven weeks into the year. The following season, Beckham missed the Browns’ first two games before returning in Week 3, although the receiver suffered a shoulder sprain on Oct. 17 in the Browns’ 37-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.