Cleveland Browns star Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t met expectations in his two injury-riddled seasons since the team acquired him. Entering an offseason that could see countless star players on the move, the three-time Pro Bowl receiver has been floated heavily in trade rumors.
Back in 2019, the Browns packaged their first- and third-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft with guard Kevin Zeitler and defensive back Jabrill Peppers in a blockbuster trade for OBJ and Olivier Vernon. The move hasn’t exactly paid off for Cleveland, with Beckham Jr. spending the past two seasons either playing hurt or on injured reserve.
At a time when teams are desperately looking for ways to create cap space, OBJ’s name is once again circulating in the rumor mill. But this week, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski might have thrown cold water on the speculation.
Cleveland Browns rumors: Kevin Stefanski wants Odell Beckham Jr. back in 2021
Stefanski recently made an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Keyshawn, Will and Zubin show to talk about the team’s offseason outlook and 2021 roster. During the segment, he expressed an interest in keeping Beckham Jr. and believes the team can afford to retain both him and Jarvis Landry.
“I think we can, yeah. I think you don’t want to be so dogmatic about it and say, ‘All right. We have to have this number of receivers and this number of tight ends and this running back.’ I think you go with what you have and you make sure that you’re putting yourself in position to field a competitive roster for a bunch of years moving forward. So, yeah, I think we’re in a good spot.”Cleveland Browns HC Kevin Stefanski on keeping Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in 2021
In a normal offseason, no one would even ponder if Cleveland would part ways with one of its top playmakers. But the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the NFL financially, resulting in the salary cap dropping for the first time in over a decade.
Beckham Jr. carries a $15.75 million cap hit for the 2021 season, which Cleveland could get out of entirely by releasing or trading him. The 28-year-old is in the midst of recovering from a torn ACL, which derailed his hopes for a rebound season in 2020.
Unfortunately, injuries have been a theme for the ultra-talented wideout. He played through a sports hernia injury throughout the 2019 campaign, limiting his explosiveness and ability to make cuts in his routes. While he finished with a 1,000-yard season, he only found the end zone four times and caught just 55.6% of passes thrown his way.
Even with Beckham Jr. on the roster, Cleveland is still near the top of the NFL in cap space this offseason. With their intentions to keep him clear, the team’s focus will be on using its assets to bolster the defense this spring.