Friday, November 26, 2021

Down and Out: Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Released by the Browns

CLEVELAND (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. is being released by the Cleveland Browns, breaking up with the polarizing star wide receiver on Friday and officially ending his drama-filled stay with the team .

Beckham’s brazen exit occurred on his 29th birthday, and days later his father shared a video on social media in which Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield did not throw a pass to the three-time pro bowler.

This was a turning point in the team’s often-shaky relationship with him.

Brown did not appreciate the video or reach out to Beckham Mayfield, who said he was ready to make things work. Beckham was asked not to report to practice for two days as his representation worked out the financial terms agreed to his departure with Andrew Berry, the Browns’ general manager.

“After careful consideration, internal discussion and dialogue with Odell and his representation, we have determined that Odell no longer plays for the Cleveland Browns, it is in the best interest of all parties,” Berry said in a statement. “We appreciate all of his efforts and contributions in Cleveland, but we have just gotten to the point where it is best that we go ahead 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.”

Now that Beckham is gone, the Browns can focus their attention on Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Incidentally, it was in the seventh week of last season against the Bengals when Beckham suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The exemption cannot be claimed on Beckham until next week.

One of the NFL’s most talented receivers, Beckham has also been one of its most irate.

He came to Cleveland in a 2019 blockbuster trade from the New York Giants, tired of his self-absorbed antics. His arrival at the Browns brought unrealistic expectations into the first season and played a role in the team moving 6–10 and undergoing another coaching change.

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Although he insisted he was happy in Cleveland, where he was reunited with former college mate and close friend Jarvis Landry, Beckham didn’t like not being in a big market. He reportedly told opponents on the field during the pregame warmup to “get me” in the off-season.

Beckham was under first-year coach Kevin Stefansky last season, but he never formed a strong on-field relationship with Mayfield, and the lack of chemistry between them was a constant theme.

When Beckham went down with his knee injury last October, it appeared to free Mayfield, who played better without a playmaker, and helped the Browns make their first playoff appearance in 18 seasons and their first postseason win since 1994. inspired to.

Beckham worked hard this season to return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and there came a time when it looked like her relationship with Mayfield and Brown was finally working out. However, that was rarely a major part of the game plan – other than as a temptation – and Beckham was quite upset after losing to Pittsburgh on Sunday, when he caught just one pass for 6 yards in a 15-10 loss.

The video — accompanied by a tweet from LeBron James, who said “OBJ will show again why he’s special. WR1 #FreeOBJ” — seemed orchestrated by Beckham and required a clear nod to the breakup.

Beckham had 17 catches for 232 yards and zero touchdowns in six matches this season. He only had two 100-yard games with Cleveland in 29.

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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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