Browns and Beckham finalize terms of release
CINCINNATI –The Cleveland Browns and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. signed the settlement for his release, paving the way for him to potentially become a free agent, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Beckham, who was apologized by the team this week for his conduct, will be officially lifted on Monday, said the person who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
On Friday, the day of Beckham’s 29th birthday, Browns general manager Andrew Berry said it was time to cut ties with him after two and a half seasons in which the triple Pro Bowler produced some highlights on the ground.
Berry and Beckham’s agent has spent the last few days working on the breakup, which became inevitable when his father shared a video on social media showing times when Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t pitch him the ball.
However, there were deeper issues than the video with Beckham, who had asked to be traded multiple times and showed his frustration in recent weeks.
The Browns and Beckham have agreed to eliminate the two remaining unsecured years on his contract after 2021, the person said.
Once Beckham gives up, he can be claimed by a team that is expected to pay the $ 7.25million owed to him for the remainder of the season.
If Beckham clears the waivers on Tuesday at 4 p.m., he’ll become a free agent and the Browns will owe him $ 4.25 million, saving the club $ 3 million.
NFL Network was the first to report financial terms,
By restructuring the deal, Beckham is more likely to become a free agent, which is his preference since he can then choose his team. In this scenario, the Browns would get a financial break.
Beckham was acquired in 2019 by the Browns as part of a trade with the New York Giants by former general manager John Dorsey, who wanted to give Mayfield a groundbreaking playmaker.
Beckham did not deliver.
He arrived with a reputation for being self-centered and disruptive and never seemed to get comfortable in Cleveland. He tallied over 1,000 yards in his debut season but suffered a knee injury in 2020 and was out when the Browns ended a long playoff drought and won their first playoff game in 26 years.
Beckham’s situation provided a messy backdrop this week for the Browns (4-4), who are playing a critical game Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3). Cleveland has lost three of four and can’t afford much more losses, especially inside AFC North, if they are to advance to the playoffs.
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