How The Odell Beckham Jr. Situation in Cleveland Reached A Tipping Point
The Cleveland Browns were immediately considered contenders when they traded for Odell Beckham Jr. in March of 2019. The Browns got their superstar player and Beckham was inserted into an explosive offense that had high expectations after Baker Mayfield's rookie year.
However, everything has come crashing down and now it appears that Beckham's time in Cleveland is over after only 29 games. How did this happen, and what was the final straw? Well, here is an official breakdown from a Browns fan on what happened with the relationship between OBJ and the Browns over the past few days.
How We Got Here
Rumors have swirled that Beckham was unhappy in Cleveland since the second he was traded. He would constantly deny those rumors, but it was pretty clear from his actions that he did not like his role with the Browns.
I will give him credit, in a world where athletes take to social media to voice their displeasures with the team, Beckham has mostly stayed away from social media controversy. I just wish someone would have told his father, Odell Beckham Sr. that.
The father of #Browns Odell Beckham Jr. posted an 11 minute video on Instagram today. The video showed multiple times that QB Baker Mayfield missed Odell Beckham Jr. Was also active in comments. pic.twitter.com/oFbJl4ExA9— Brad Stainbrook (@BrownsByBrad) November 2, 2021
A Troubling Duo
This came just a few days after the Browns' 15-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers where Beckham received only one target. Ever since their first game together, Beckham and Mayfield just have not had any sort of chemistry on the field.
In Mayfield's 25 career games without Beckham, he is completing 64.4% of his passes for 6,430 yards and 39 touchdowns. Mayfield also passed for 257.2 yards per game with a QBR of 95.5 without Beckham. In their 28 games together, Mayfield's stats dropped across the board. His QBR fell to 84.8 and he only completed 60.7% of his passes for 42 touchdowns and a whopping 29 interceptions.
Based on the numbers, for whatever reason, this combination just did not work, and it appears that Beckham's time in Cleveland is now over.
Earlier today, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski told his players that Odell Beckham Jr. is essentially not on the team right now and that the WR has been told to stay at home.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) November 3, 2021
Where Do The Browns Go From Here?
If Odell Beckham Jr. is released by the #Browns, he would be subject to waivers (as every player now is). OBJ has $8M left on his 2021 salary, fully guaranteed, then $15M each of 2022 & 2023, none of which is guaranteed.https://t.co/hqg6OSlN0x— Spotrac (@spotrac) November 3, 2021
The Browns were not able to trade Beckham prior to the trade deadline on Tuesday so their options are limited. If Beckham is waived by the Browns, he would hit waivers and if any team puts a claim on him, they would inherit his deal.
Beckham is still owed $8 million this year and with his history, there is a good chance that he would go unclaimed, and would be able to sign with whichever team he wanted to.
Now, the Browns have made no indications that they will release him and there is a chance that Cleveland will just pay him to stay home so he does not land with a contender.
Browns/OBJ may be able to reach some sort of financial resolution to end his time in Cleveland but as of now team not willing to waive him, and is willing to burn a 53-man roster spot just for him to stay away and excuse him indefinitely. Thats a new one for me. This isn't over— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 3, 2021
In all likelihood, the Browns and Beckham will probably come to an agreement on a buyout. Browns GM Andrew Berry and Beckham's agents have reportedly been in discussion all day on the next steps. It is not that Beckham is no longer a great receiver, it just did not work out in Cleveland.
The Browns offense is designed to get everyone involved and Beckham fits better in an offense where he is the focal point. Beckham still had some great moments in Cleveland, he just was not the first option in this offense, and if you could believe it, social media exploded when Beckham's numbers went down.
Cleveland had two choices after this season. First, they could of just ignored the problem and hope it works itself out or they would have to choose between Mayfield and Beckham on who they would get rid of.
There was never a chance that the Browns would side with Beckham over the franchise quarterback.
Wherever Beckham ends up, I wish him well as a Browns fan. At the end of the day, he just did not fit in here, and it is time to move on.
Photo: Getty Images