Odell Beckham Jr.’s tumultuous tenure with the Browns may be coming to an end.
According to a report in The Athletic, sources close to Cleveland believe that this could be Beckham’s final year with the team.
Beckham has two years left on the contract he originally signed with the Giants before the blockbuster trade that sent him to Cleveland in March 2019. However, he has no guaranteed money after 2021, meaning the team could release him and save $15 million on the cap in 2022.
Beckham has never been able to make quite the impact the Browns imagined when they traded for him. In his first season, he managed 1,035 yards (then a career-low for a full season) and four touchdowns. In 2020, he accrued 319 yards in seven games before suffering a torn ACL.
After missing the first two games of the season recovering from the ACL injury, Beckham got off to a good start with 77 yards on five catches in a win over the Bears. However, he has 47 yards and four catches in the two games since.
On Wednesday, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about Beckham’s limited involvement in the offense. He said that Beckham remains a big part of the team’s offensive focus, but some of it is out of the team’s control.
“I look at each game and what do we have to do to win? What do we need to do to go score a bunch of points?” Stefanski said, per Yahoo. “As I’ve mentioned before, he’s a dynamic football player. He’s very front-of-mind when we’re game-planning, when we’re calling plays. Sometimes the defense dictates that the ball goes elsewhere and we’re comfortable with that because we have good players elsewhere.”
Per the Athletic, there has been no sign that Beckham will be made available at the trade deadline. His salary is guaranteed in 2021 and there would be minimal financial relief if the team traded him, though it’s still possible.
The Browns have gotten off to a 3-2 start this season with close losses against two Super Bowl contenders in the Chiefs and Chargers. Per Football Outsiders’ DVOA statistic, the Browns are the sixth-best team in the NFL through five games.
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