The NFL trade deadline passed Tuesday with Odell Beckham Jr. still a member of the Browns.
But with the star wide receiver reportedly being excused from practice for the second straight day Thursday, serious questions remain about his future in Cleveland, to the point where teams across the league might be preparing for OBJ’s possible release.
NFL insider Josina Anderson reported Thursday, citing multiple sources, that a number of teams are “sniffing around” Beckham’s status with the Browns.
A league source told Anderson that Beckham is willing to return to the facility and rejoin the Browns upon notification, but head coach Kevin Stefanski reportedly informed players before Wednesday’s practice that the three-time Pro Bowl selection would no longer be a member of the team as Cleveland prepares for its Week 9 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Beckham long has been the subject of trade speculation, as his tenure in Cleveland has been very underwhelming. He totaled a respectable 74 catches for 1,035 yards with four touchdowns in his first season with the Browns in 2019, but he played in just seven games in 2020 and has caught just 17 passes for 232 yards in six games in 2021.
That level of production is a far cry from the elite numbers he posted with the Giants, particularly during his first three seasons in New York, when he averaged 96 receptions, 1,374 receiving yards and nearly 12 TDs per year.
The situation in Cleveland has come to a head this week, though, with Beckham’s father posting a video on Instagram of times when Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield either didn’t throw the ball to OBJ or missed him entirely.
It sure sounds like Beckham might have played his final game with the Browns despite being under contract with Cleveland for two more seasons. And perhaps it’s just a matter of how the departure unfolds, with an in-season release or an offseason trade both seemingly on the table.
Beckham has no guaranteed money remaining on his deal. The Browns would save $15 million on their salary cap by trading or releasing him during the offseason, per ESPN.