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It’s officially official. On Friday morning, the Browns announced that they have released wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
“After careful consideration, internal discussions, and conversations with Odell and his representation, we’ve determined that it is in the best interest of all parties involved that Odell no longer play for the Cleveland Browns,” GM Andrew Berry said in a statement issued by the team. “We appreciate all his efforts and contributions while in Cleveland, but we’ve just reached a point where it is best that we move forward 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.”
Despite Berry’s diplomacy, it’s safe to say that the Browns are not huge fans of Beckham or his contributions. OBJ won’t be leaving Cleveland with fond memories either. After two-and-a-half seasons and 29 total games, he’ll leave with 114 catches and 1,586 yards, good for an average of 13.9 yards per reception. He scored just seven receiving touchdowns along the way, with per-game averages of 3.9 grabs and 54.7 yards per contest.
But, before he relocated to Ohio, Beckham was an absolute monster in New York. OBJ topped 1,300 yards in each of his first three seasons, including a career-high 1,450 yards in 2015. And, after his lost 2017 season, he still managed 77 catches, 1,052 yards, and six touchdowns in a 12-game 2018.
The Browns gave up 2019 first- and third-round picks, plus Jabrill Peppers and Kevin Zeitler, to acquire the star receiver and defensive end Olivier Vernon. He stayed healthy that year, but turned in his worst full season as a pro with 74 receptions, 1,035 yards, and four TDs. Now, that stands as his most productive season in Cleveland.
The rest of the league will have until 4pm ET/3pm CT Monday to claim Beckham. If he goes unclaimed, Beckham will be an unfettered free agent.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.