Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has battled injuries the past few seasons, was formally waived by the Cleveland Browns on Monday. However, if any NFL teams want to sign him for the rest of this season, they’ll take a $7.25 million hit to their salary cap.
Last week, Beckham effectively pushed his way out of the Browns, who acquired him two and a half years ago but were just as eager to end their tumultuous relationship as he was.
The 29-year-old can be claimed on waivers — the Detroit Lions (0-8) get the first crack — but any team that takes him would have to pay the fee he’s owed for the rest of this season. The Browns and Beckham’s agent agreed to restructure his deal last week by eliminating the two non-guaranteed years that were left.
However, if Beckham clears waivers by Tuesday at 4 p.m., he’ll be a free agent and can sign with any team. In that case, the Browns will have to pay him $4.25 million for this season, saving them $3 million.
Because just a few clubs have adequate salary-cap room to take on Beckham’s deal this season, it’s unlikely that he’ll be picked up.
Beckham believed that playing for the Cleveland Browns would provide him with the best opportunity of winning a Super Bowl, so it’s understandable that he’ll want to join a contender. He may not be the playmaker he once was, but he still has the ability to stretch a defence.
But there’s a lot more to Beckham, who, despite a drop in production, remains one of the league’s most popular players. In 29 games with Cleveland, he only had two 100-yard games.
The Browns confirmed his release on Friday, capping off an odd week that began with his father, Odell Beckham Sr., releasing a social media video of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield failing to deliver the ball to his son.
Meanwhile, Mayfield said he was “surprised” by the public attack but had no hard feelings toward Beckham. “I wish him well,” Mayfield said. “From a personal standpoint, he’s a good friend of mine. We still haven’t talked, but that doesn’t change things. I wish him the best in his career, but I’m worried about the guys in our locker room.”
With inputs from the Associated Press