Odell Beckham Jr. picked the perfect time to make a power play

Arizona Cardinals v Cleveland Browns
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You may disagree with the method. But it’s hard to disagree with the result.

All signs are pointing to the Browns releasing receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Then, if no one claims the balance of his $14.5 million on waivers (all terminations after the trade deadline require exposure to waivers), Beckham becomes a free agent for the first time in his NFL career.

It gets better for OBJ. Under the CBA, he then gets to collect the balance of his salary as termination pay, to sign with another team, and to double dip, keeping the full amount of the money from both teams.

On Wednesday, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said repeatedly that G.M. Andrew Berry is talking to Beckham’s representatives. This suggests that they’re negotiating the terms of his release.

The Browns, however, don’t have much leverage. Unless they have grounds to suspend him four weeks without pay for conduct detrimental to the team, they can’t keep him away from the team. The prerogative to suspend a player with pay ended with the 2006 labor deal; the options are to suspend the player without pay (if grounds exist for a suspension), to trade him (it’s too late for that until March), or to cut him.

By bringing things to a head on the day of the trade deadline, Beckham left the Browns without enough time to work out a trade. So if they now want him gone, they have to cut him. And if he clears waivers, he gets to pick his next team.

Of course, the Giants could claim him on waivers just for the principle of it. That’s what the late Marty Schottenheimer did in 2002, when Washington released Deion Sanders from the reserve-retired list after the trade deadline, so that he could sign with the Raiders. Sanders had retired the prior year because he didn’t want to play for Schottenheimer in D.C., and Schottenheimer had his revenge ice cold, blocking Deion’s preferred destination.

Giants co-owner John Mara or G.M. Dave Gettleman could do the same thing, forcing Beckham into an awkward spot. However, the Giants likely would have to create some cap space to pull it off; that would be too much trouble to prove a point.

Other teams could claim him. He generates excitement, sells tickets. While he may not be happy with a team that isn’t a short-list contender, he’ll have to show up or give up his pay.

Regardless of where he ends up, he picked the perfect time to force his way out of Cleveland. Now, we wait for him to be cut — and then we wait to see if he’s claimed on waivers.

108 responses to “Odell Beckham Jr. picked the perfect time to make a power play

  1. “Other teams could claim him. He generates excitement, sells tickets.”

    Sells tickets? Are you sure about that?

  2. This is so awesome. Reminds me of how smart Kirk Cousins played Washington. I love it when players work the system to their financial advantage. It shows that they have power and cant’t be controlled.

  3. Or make him last on the depth chart an make him inactive every game. Don’t pay him to play for someone else.

  4. Since you brought him up: I wonder how quickly Schotty would have slammed the door on OBJ after this nonsense? 😂

  5. Well, if the browns think no one will claim him, then they might as well keep him and not cut him. They seem to go out of their way to make him happy or at the least, talk about getting him the ball more. if you want lots of money OBJ, go to the NBA. Lots of players are overpayed there and there is a thriving diva culture throughout the league. Or, you could be a team player, contribute, forget yourself and try to make a playoff run with the current team you’re on. as is, there are a good number of players both in Cleveland and throughout the NFL who put a lot more work in to contributing to their team’s success than you, and they make less money than you. Lamar Jackson,…I could keep going, but what’s the point. Basically everyone in the league contributes to their team more than OBJ does to his.

  6. If this was the NBA or MLB, where players have a lot more power, I’d agree with this. But this is the NFL and everything I’ve seen in my adult life about the NFL is that the owners are hell bent on keeping the players more or less powerless. Collusion is difficult to prove and easy to do. I see a scenario where the owners don’t let OBJ pull this move off so as to prevent other players from doing the same in the future. If OBJ can pull this off, we’ll see more players try this in the future. I can’t imagine the owners will let that happen.

  7. I could definitely see him getting claimed out of spite. He could get plenty of playing time for the Jets, but he might not be thrilled with that.

  8. Odel is a great athlete but an average reciever. His hype comes from a few spash plays. He is an elite talent but sadly suffers from the diva syndrome that plagues so many of today’s WR’s. The Browns should either get him to settle for a lower portion of the guaranteed salary or just keep him,pay him, aned not play him. I totally disagree with Odel’s methods. You sign a contract and play. If you don’t like the team your on don’t resign with them when your contract is up. Whoever signs him will end up with headaches. The only way he’ll be happy is with 12+ targets every game on a winning team.

  9. He’s a free agent sure, but I wouldn’t want him anywhere near my team or their kicking nets…

  10. Best option: tell everyone you’ve made up, make him ride the bench and ignore him. The one thing a guy like OBJ can’t stand, is to be ignored. There’s also a huge chance that he will then do something that is big enough to get legitimately suspended. If I have to pay him anyway, I’m going to make him uncomfortable.

  11. Pleeeeeeease, Texans (or someone similarly bad) claim him. So tired of crybaby millionaires. He made the choice to sign there; he should play out his contract or be mature about it and talk to management/the coaches about options. I guess I’m surprised something like this didn’t happen sooner; what a child.

  12. Sounds like a plan, but for some reason I don’t see this playing out in Beckham’s favor. The league doesn’t like players getting over on them and I’m sure there are some conversations being had in league circles that, well, they don’t get talked about in public.

  13. There are about 10 games left. Maybe the Browns just make him inactive for 6 and suspend him for 4?

  14. If the Browns are willing to pay millions of dollars just to get him out of their building, that’s not a great endorsement

  15. The browns could absolutely deactivate him, let him ride the bench and make his life a nightmare for the remainder of the season. They should absolutely do that. Don’t give him what he wants, let him waste another year of his life.

  16. Or does he already have a deal worked out with a team that will pick him up off of waivers. Wait that would be tampering that would never happen would it? Yeah right!

  17. I get what you’re saying. But it’s bad for the sport and bad for the players overall. There are times when sports writers wonder why the fans seem to side with the owners. This is the type of thing that does it.

  18. Perhaps he generates excitement, but his recent record shows he no longer generates many receptions and touchdowns. Whining his way out of his last gig when he was a stellar performer is one thing, whining his way without much production to back up his act is another thing entirely.

  19. So if they’re going to have to pay him anyway, why can’t they just make him inactive every week so he can’t sign with anyone? Like Houston with Watson.

  20. The Patriots could really use a #1 wide receiver. Belichick’s taken chances on the likes of Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon. Is Beckham worse than them?

  21. If he had any leverage he would have forced a trade to a competitor. Clearly they weren’t interested. Now he gets bounced from team #2 for having a terrible attitude and effect on a locker room. Best case scenario: IF he gets picked up he is at the mercy of whichever struggling team is desperate enough to take a chance. Most likely scenario: No one claims nor signs him and his career in the NFL goes stagnant, waiting on someone to offer a low pay prove it deal in the future. If anyone makes an offer at all.

  22. It wouldn’t be hard for the Browns to figure out if any team wants to claim him. If they find no team will I would keep him, even if you don’t use him you are still paying him no matter what. Why pay him while he is playing for somebody else. He wants to play dirty, I’m sure the Browns could play dirty as well. No team wants to pick him up and pay that salary, he is very overrated.

  23. Don’t release him. Order him to play on special teams, covering kickoffs and punts. If he balks or whines or loafs, then suspend him for conduct detrimental.

  24. Or, ince the Browns are going to have to pay him anyway….. they could stick it to him and make him a healthy scratch for the rest of the season.

  25. Uh, he used to generate excitement and sell tickets. Now, he is just an overpaid guy that brings baggage and a me first attitude. Buyer beware.

  26. He’s under contract for two more years after this season. The Browns control him until he’s 32 years old, when he’d be five years removed from his last decent season if he sits out. Cap hit makes it implausible to cut him this year or next. He can play for Cleveland, if they want him, or watch his career fade away on the inactive list on game days. Something tells me his ego is too big for that though.

  27. Just sit his *ss on the bench until he is ready to accept his roll. The Browns are better off with him not on the field. You’re out the money either way, why let him double-dip and be rewarded for his boorish behavior.

  28. I’d like to hear from Browns fans. Has OBJ been open downfield and underutilized like Sr suggests? In other words, is he being a diva again or is Mayfield indeed not seeing or targeting him effectively?

  29. I could see the browns sending him home to make sure he doesn’t get to play against them.

    Then let him go next year.

  30. Of course from a football and team standpoint it’s a dirtbag move. No surprise from the NFL’s biggest “look at me” diva.

  31. “He generates excitement, sells tickets.” Anyone who buys tickeys to see this guy must belong to the MCA (moron club of america)

  32. Effectively forced his way out of New York. Now he’s forced his way out of Cleveland. Too much of a spoiled diva for any team to take a chance on him. Fool me once and all. Locker room distraction, injury prone, and isn’t even man enough to talk to his QB after having his daddy talk for him. His daddy and his big, bad basketball buddy.

  33. “It gets better for OBJ. Under the CBA, he then gets to collect the balance of his salary as termination pay, to sign with another team, and to double dip, keeping the full amount of the money from both teams.”

    Ouch for the Browns. The only reason for the Browns to cut him at this point is if OBJ creates too much of a distraction. Otherwise, they have to pay him & possibly meet him in a game as an opponent in a revenge-game.

  34. Most over rated player in a while. Forget that one-handed catch years ago. % of catches caught vs. targeted are what…50%?!

  35. At this point I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t somehow end up w the Rams. They grab everybody else.

  36. As a Browns fan, I don’t care. This is addition by subtraction. Kind of glad he wants out.

  37. I would think the perfect time to make a power play would have been during a game, but hey, what do I know.

  38. Odell Beckham Jr. picked the perfect time to make a power play
    That would depend on his objective. If he wants some paid time off he will probably get it.
    Teams that are in the playoff hunt don’t want the distraction of a throw me the ball diva locker room cancer. OBJ may get another shot, but no team is going to shower him with riches.

  39. The Browns should just pay him to sit on the bench like the Texans are to Watson. Then try to trade him in the off-season. OBJ, does not and should not be around any of the Cleveland Browns players or facility for the remainder of this season. Just put him as a healthy scratch, and let him sit.

    Don’t let him double dip, don’t let him get to pick where he goes.

  40. Yeah. Right. Because so many teams want an overrated Diva who apparently employs family members to throw his QB under the bus. Baker Mayfield is a very average QB. That’s a fact, but calling him out on social media just shows Beckham is still a child in a man’s body.

  41. Yes, perfect time to prove that he is too much trouble than he’s worth and no one will claim him. He’s played his last NFL game.

  42. Something doesnt add up, but i lean towards supporting players getting their way.

  43. Could have asked for a trade at any point, but waits to make sure he can get money for nothing and do damage to his current employer. A real stand-up guy!! It would be nice, if as a whole, NFL teams stuck together on this type of behavior. I see no issue with a player wanting a new situation, more money, etc. This, however, is a garbage move. The team has paid you tons of money and supported you in every way, and you decide to screw them hard for it.

  44. “He gets to pick his next team from the very, very, limited list of teams that would be interested in signing an oft-injured, extremely inconsistent player who is a constant headache to every team he plays for”.

    There, fixed it for you.

  45. Keep him. Don’t cut him. Let him sit and earn their money riding the pine. See how that plays out with other team when he asks for money at the end of his contract.

    They can also decline to let him speak to media. They can also decline to let him dress. They can suspend him from the team facility.

    So many options. Don’t cut him to pay him to play for another team. He doesn’t deserve to be rewarded.

  46. When I see a player sporting a shirt with his own mug plastered all over it I’m glad my team isn’t desperate enough to bring that into their Locker room..Go Bills!!!

  47. The one problem with keep him and deactivate him is he then gets to be a PIA during practice, eating (granted limited) reps. He’ll need time in the training room, time with the training staff, equipment room, work out room. A little bit here, a little bit there. This would be just if he acted like the last man on the roster and didn’t try to make waves. The team is also finishing the year with one less roster spot them everyone else. Teams value the last man on the roster. Even if he is never active game day.

  48. Other teams will take a look and realize they wouldn’t be getting the OBJ of 2016. THAT’s why the Browns don’t need him and THAT’s why they couldn’t trade him.

  49. I usually side with players in power disputes with their teams, but in this case this just makes OBJ look like a punk – especially by using his dad and Lebron to fight his battle for him. It just comes across as juvenile and petty – earning $15 million this season isn’t good enough? You can’t just shut up and then request a trade in the offseason?

    As others have said, why don’t the Browns inactivate him and sit him for the rest of the year? Good luck signing a big contract in the offseason with having all that time off. In fact, good luck signing a big contract even if the Browns cut you. But his tape from 2021 isn’t great so far, so what will teams use as a metric to give him a big contract? Exactly.

  50. Activate him every game and make him the #4 WR…give 1 or 2 targets a game . That’s it… if drops them, deactivate him every week then. You don’t give in to a spoiled child.

  51. I dont understand what happened to this guy in terms of production. Yes he’s a diva but he doesn’t get into serious trouble off the field, seems to work hard, takes the game seriously, grew up in a strong solid family environment with an involved father and stepdad, went to the best school (the Manning’s Newman School in NOLA). He was a top 5 receiver in the league for a bit, then just fell off a cliff. He had some injuries…were they that bad ? Why has his production disappeared ? It looks like he can still run, juke, catch, be elusive. He still seems to work hard and care. I’m perplexed.

  52. If the Browns have to pay him, all they need do to get even for the damage he’s caused the team is de-activate him every week until the season ends. Then trade him in the spring, preferably to the Texans for a third-string left guard. Satisfying spiteful feelings is almost always satisfying.

  53. Gotta hand it to the Browns for being hopelessly devoted to their fans. Free beer didn’t work. Then came the shot out of the cannon OBJ experiment. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  54. The only way he leaves Cleveland is if he reworks his contract and makes it cheaper for the team to release him. He can make up that money and more when he is signed. I would say Raiders with what happened with Ruggs would be the front runner or GreenBay in the interest of making A.R. happy. Either way any team that takes him on should make sure the locker room even wants the guy. Otherwise OBJ will have to go through the motions and collect his paycheck and if he slips he will be suspended for detrimental to the team violations.

  55. OBJ knows what everyone else knows, the Browns really messed up taking Faker Mayfield #1 and they should have gone Josh Allen as Kiper said. OBJ with Allen would be so much better, he sees what Diggs is doing and knows that could be him, but instead he’s stuck with a gluten free Baker.

  56. I don’t get it – if they are paying him regardless- then just keep him – as a healthy scratch every week.

  57. Awwww but OBJ and Baker dancing together was all the feels!! They knew ALL the TikTok dances! PLEASE FIX THIS CLEVELAND

  58. There’s been no power in his play for years now and the entire league sees that. His big paydays are coming to a close and he’ll get a couple cheap “prove it” offers so if that’s what his end goal is he’s handling things perfectly.

  59. Is he even good anymore? Browns aren’t on TV much in our market so I haven’t seen them, but he isn’t exactly filling up the stat sheets. I guess he’d say that’s bc Baker is ignoring him.

  60. All the reasons listed are why if I were the Browns, I’d just let him ride the bench. They have to pay him either way.

  61. This guy hasn’t been relevant since 2019. Browns are smart to kick him, his bad attitude, and ridiculous salary, to the curb.

  62. Or he can do what his teammate Garrett did and make false claims about a QB using racial slurs against him, in this case Mayfield, and accelerate things in his favor because every media outlet will automatically be on his side in that argument without any evidence. The true privilege

  63. He is going home to Louisiana. Next stop New Orleans Saints. No one will claim him and the 14.2 mil due him. He will become a free agent and pick his team. And that team will be the Saints who are one wide receiver away from being very dangerous offensively.

  64. Picking the “perfect time for a power play” against a team that has already stuck with him through several instances of self-inflicted nonsense, and has been willing to pay him tens of millions of dollars to do it, says everything we need to know about OBJ as a football player and as a man.

  65. I’m just not sure I’d call it a power play. I wonder who is actually interested in this guy at this stage at his current contract.

    Over the last 2 years, since 2019, he’s averaged 20 Receptions and 1.5 TD per SEASON….That’s $1M per reception and $10M per TD….and on top of everything – you get a primma donna and his family that will be telling you he’s the best ever.

  66. I would take him back in two seconds if he tweeted out an obligatory, “I’ve matured. Bring me back home where I belong.” Lord knows we’re dying for NFL caliber WRs.

  67. I said it before the Browns wanted to see Baker utilize OBJ before they pay him big money. He couldn’t do it for whatever reason. The Browns will be looking to upgrade at QB this offseason either go all in for Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers. The roster is good enough to win now.

  68. OBJ has been the most targeted player on Cleveland a run first team. This team has lost some close games and could be 6-2. If they had won the close ones he still would be complaining. He is more concerned with his stats than winning. Cannot not imagine a more ‘me first’ attitude. This is the 2nd QB he blamed for his issues the first is a likely HOF player in Manning. I wish someone would put out a videos of his many drops, some at crucial moments.

  69. I would rather finish the season with TreQuan Smith and 5 UDFA at WR than bring this guy in.

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