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Cleveland Browns to release Odell Beckham Jr., Saints and 49ers favored to land star

Vincent Frank
Odell Beckham Jr
Oct 17, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) runs the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The drawn-out drama surrounding star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns could soon come to an end.

A week that started out with OBJ’s father calling out teammate Baker Mayfield on social media continued with the three-time Pro Bowler being excused from practice over the past two days. It will now more than likely culminate in his release from the Browns on Friday.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the plan right now is for Cleveland to release Odell Beckham Jr. less than three seasons into his disastrous career with the organization.

“The key word in this is ‘plan,’ because plans can always change. As Thursday night comes to a conclusion, however, we’re told that the Browns currently plan to release receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Friday,” Florio noted.

The report indicated that a revised contract will be the name of the game, enabling Cleveland to save some money should OBJ clear waivers. Right now, that seems to be the likeliest scenario given his $15.75 million cap hit.

Set to turn 29 on Friday, Beckham Jr. has been a disaster during his time in Cleveland. This season alone, he’s caught just 17 passes for 232 yards while hauling in 50% of his targets in six games. It’s become abundantly clear that he just doesn’t have a solid relationship with the aforementioned Mayfield.

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49ers and Saints mentioned as favorites to land Odell Beckham Jr.

Cleveland-Browns-Odell-Beckham
Sep 26, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) kneels in the end zone before the game against the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Should OBJ clear waivers, Florio mentioned San Francisco and New Orleans as two teams to watch for. He also brought up the Seattle Seahawks as a possibility while mentioning the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in passing.

Of all these teams, the Saints would make the most sense. They are going to be without Michael Thomas for the remainder of the season after he announced he wouldn’t return to the gridiron until 2022. New Orleans was also in trade talks with Cleveland surrounding Beckham Jr. ahead of Tuesday’s deadline, but the finances acted as a detriment to any deal getting done.

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As for San Francisco, the team thought it landed OBJ in a trade with the New York Giants prior to him being sent to Cleveland during the 2019 off-season. New York did not want to deal the then dynamic receiver to an NFC rival. The 49ers are in desperate need of some production behind potential record-breaking wide receiver Deebo Samuel.