Multiple reports indicate the Cleveland Browns excused star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from practice today, Nov. 3, despite his availability and readiness to participate.
The team is calling it a “shoulder/non injury related personal matter.”
I'm told #Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. has been told he's excused from practice today, per league source. Additionally, it is my understanding that OBJ was ready to attend practice per usual.
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) November 3, 2021
Is it any surprise the Browns sent OBJ home a day after the video released by his father, Odell Beckham Sr., on Tuesday via Instagram?
The video highlights several instances in recent games where OBJ was open and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield either failed to get Beckham the ball or made a poor throw.
OBJ is having his worst statistical season, and it’s due primarily to the quarterback and receiver’s inability to get in sync.
Once the video made the rounds and was the topic du jour in the A block of all the talking head shows, you knew the Browns were going to try and get as far away from it as possible.
Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski told players at today’s practice, that OBJ is “essentially not on the team right now.”
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 3, 2021
According to Yahoo Sports, the Browns tried to move OBJ ahead of the Nov. 2 trade deadline, but found “little to no market.”
This is something that happens all too often in the NFL. The “diva wide receiver” is seen as too much of a headache or “locker room problem,” and the production isn’t worth the “distraction.”
Look at OBJ’s tenure in New York with the Giants. Beckham led the Giants in receiving yards and touchdowns in four of his five seasons with the club. He was injured in the season he didn’t lead the team.
Deemed a distraction and not worth the “trouble” by general manager Dave Gettleman, he was traded to the Browns in 2019.
In the three seasons since the trade, the Giants haven’t sniffed a 1,000-yard season from a receiver or double digit touchdown receptions from a receiver.
Was OBJ flamboyant? Did he propose to a kicking net? Sure. But was he worth it?
Regardless, the question now is where does OBJ go from here?
The Browns could deactivate him and keep him on the roster the remainder of the season, while paying him. That doesn’t seem good for either side.
The better option for both parties would be to offer OBJ his outright release in exchange for some of the salary he’s owed for the remainder of the season. He would be free to sign with another team once he clears waivers, and the Browns would save some cap room.
Beckham would in a sense get to choose where he signs next.
If the video posted by Beckham Sr. is proof, OBJ has a lot left in the tank. He is one of the most talented players to ever suit up in the NFL. On a team with a good line and QB, he would be dynamite.
The Packers and Rams could use him, as they contend in the NFC. The Chiefs’ line play has been horrendous, but Mahomes and OBJ would be lethal.
Important note. Any team that does sign OBJ off waivers would inherit his current deal.
*IF* the Browns release OBJ he'd then be subject to waivers.
If claimed, a new team would inherit his deal:
2022: $13.75M salary, $1M roster bonus, $250K workout bonus
2023: $13.75M salary, $1M roster bonus, $250K workout bonus
2022-2023 are non-guaranteed.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 3, 2021