Browns “excuse” Odell Beckham from practice again

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The Browns are in checkmate. They just don’t realize it yet.

When it comes to dealing with receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., there’s nothing to negotiate. Nothing to discuss. With a trade not an option, their choices are to let him return to work, to suspend him without pay for conduct detrimental to the team, or to release him.

They’re trying to carve out another approach, “excusing” him from team activities while figuring out what to do. Per multiple reports, he’s “excused” again on Thursday. Even if he wants to practice.

Basically, they’re suspending him with pay. Starting with the 2006 CBA, teams lost the ability to do this. If he fights it, he’ll win. They can’t keep him out of the facility, or off the practice field.

They could, in theory, suspend him without pay for four weeks for conduct detrimental to the team and force him to file a grievance. At the end of the day, Beckham would get his money after prevailing. In the interim, the Browns would delay his arrival with a new team.

But that would be a horrible look for the Browns, exacerbating the distraction while also sending a bad message to current and future players about the way the Browns do business. Look at the Steelers. As coach Mike Tomlin has said many times (and most recently this week), it’s better to have volunteers than hostages. If Beckham wants out, let him go. While that can become a dangerous precedent, the broader goal should be to create an environment that makes players want to be there. The Browns failed to make Beckham wants to be there.

The Browns are better off without Beckham. Beckham is better off with the Browns. Although the Browns may not want to see Beckham end up with the Chiefs or the Bills or the Ravens or the Steelers, the best play is to let him go. The only play is to let him go.

The fact that, as coach Kevin Stefanski said on Wednesday, G.M. Andrew Berry is talking to Beckham’s representatives suggests that there’s something to talk about. There isn’t. They can welcome him back, suspend him without pay, or cut him. That’s it. And the sooner they make the decision to move on, the better off they will be.

89 responses to “Browns “excuse” Odell Beckham from practice again

  1. “ The only play is to let him go.”

    Opinions shouldn’t be conveyed as facts. Browns have options and shouldn’t be concerned with how their decisions are perceived by people not involved in the situation.

  2. This soap opera is getting old. They need to cut him and move on. They have no leverage for any other path.

  3. Distractions are never a good thing. The next headline: “The Browns release OBJ for actions detrimental to the team”!

  4. Horrible look for the Browns?
    The 29 year old WR had his Daddy post on social media negatively about a teammate. And the Browns should worry about looking bad.

    This guy is talented but he’s a child.

    And that Beckham Sr. Actually went along and posted, says a lot about why Jr. is the way he is.

  5. I don’t understand this logic. If the Browns are worried about setting a bad precedent, their concern should be about showing that a quick ticket to free agency is just to become a major problem and distraction which will lead to your outright release. Make him play (and sit the bench) or make him waive his salary if he wants to be released. If he’s so great then he will be claimed or his new team will pay him. Done.

  6. This whole article is based on assumption that he wants to practice. For all we know, maybe OBJ asked for a few days off to clear his head, so the Brown are excusing him from practice for that.

  7. let him rot on the bench for the rest of the season.

    Find someone, maybe the Lions to trade him to and let him rot there. They have to trade him to an NFC team and hopefully they can ship him to a garbage team as well. Just continue to let him sulk in misery.

  8. Can Baker just come out and say he doesn’t like OBJ already. He’s going to leave Cleveland and be productive once again. Watch him on tape. He still gets open, he’s still fast. The problem is the QB throwing him the ball.

  9. yeah, he “really wants to practice”. Probably as much as he really wanted to give an effort in games.

  10. “Odell Beckham Jr. remains the preeminent wide receiver in the game today and is the consensus greatest player at his position in NFL history.” — Odell Beckham Jr.

  11. Cant they discuss whether he agrees to waive any guaranteed pay?
    I think they’re OK with eating the money if he doesn’t play – or letting him walk without the money; I would imagine they just don’t want to pay him $8M to walk away AND let him double dip with the contender of his choice. Just my two cents…

  12. They are better when he isn’t on the field. They also have zero incentive/interest in paying him to improve another roster. A smart move (ignored) is to make him a healthy scratch every game.

    Pay him to sit on the couch and NOT play for an opponent is better than paying him to play for an opponent, regardless of conference.

    It’s punishment sufficient to fit the crime. You want to whine? Whine at home. He’s had plenty of chances to help the team win and he dropped the ball, both literally and figuratively.

  13. ^^^They then can trade him to “whomever they want” at the end of the year, rather than letting him choose his preferred landing spot.

  14. They are gonna let him sit all season. I would not let him go till after the superbowl. Heck you are gonna pay him regardless why pay him to help another team

  15. I can’t think of a team that is better off with this guy. Without a doubt it comes to this with him. Hard pass.

  16. The TEAM is NOT in checkmate…if the PLAYER insists on coming in, they can simply put him with the Special Teams and let him snag punts all day, then Deactivate him EVERY gameday.

  17. The Browns didn’t fail him. This is clearly a player issue. And this isn’t even close to the first time. What the Browns did wrong was trade for him and not trade him away earlier this week.

  18. I don’t think the Browns are in “checkmate” and I think they fully realize the situation they’re in. Beckham put the team in this situation and it makes him look like a petulant child and not a reasonable adult. Problems in NY, Problems in Cleveland…who wants to bring guaranteed problems to their team?

    The way Beckham has handled this will work against him in finding another team.

  19. “the Browns may not want to see Beckham end up with the Chiefs or the Bills or the Ravens or the Steelers”

    I doubt watching him sit out hurt for some other team is going to bother the Browns. And if he does play his standard 2 receptions for 20 yards isn’t going to sting the Browns that badly.

  20. It’s not a “bad look” to suspend him for bad conduct. If they tell him to come to practice & he fails, then suspend him. If he practices, but has issues in the locker room that results in misconduct, suspend him. If he comes back & does his job, okay.

  21. This guy is toxic just like brown with the raiders sure hope my raiders don’t sign him if the browns cut him

  22. It doesn’t matter if another AFC team picks him up, he won’t be healthy for them and will pout like he normally does. I would think it is a benefit to the Browns if he goes on to contaminate another contenders roster. This is a plus for the Browns, not a negative. A Trojan Horse, if you will.

  23. “The only play is to let him go.”

    Totally disagree. That would reward him in a huge way for his childish behavior and lack of effort for a team paying him millions.

    The best “play” is to let him back in for practice and make him inactive on game days. If he refuses to practice then they can suspend him the 4 games for conduct detrimental and will win any appeal. If he goes nuts on social media for being inactive they can suspend him for that as well.

    But absolutely they should not reward his wretched childish behavior by simply cutting him.

  24. How any of this is a ‘bad look for the Browns’ is beyond me. Yes, the old Browns were poorly run but AB, Stefanski, and DePodesta have been class acts and smart. OBJ has completely destroyed his reputation once and for all.

  25. browns2022 says:
    November 4, 2021 at 9:35 am
    “ The only play is to let him go.”

    Opinions shouldn’t be conveyed as facts. Browns have options and shouldn’t be concerned with how their decisions are perceived by people not involved in the situation.

    Perhaps you would like to explain those options, or do you not believe what the CBA expressly states.

  26. The classic he’s not good enough for us and we don’t want him. But we can’t just release or trade him because he’s too good scenario. 76ers are going through same thing right now.

    I think what teams fail to take into account is how much better a work environment gets when a person with a crap attitude leaves. If he’s a headache get rid of him. Addition by subtraction. Those cliches exist for a reason. Who cares where he goes?

    Instead we get GMs egos involved and they don’t want to be questioned why they extended or signed that player. All they need to say is “at the time he was a good player and made sense for our team, but it does not now”.

  27. Disagree Mike. Better to pay him not to play for the. Browns than to pay him to play for a competitor. Berry and Stef are doing the right thing.

  28. Even if Beckham gets what he wants, he still won’t be happy. The Browns should just release him and get back to business. “Excusing” him every day is just another distraction…and he gets paid for it. He’s an unnecessary headache.

  29. Time to cut bait. His paid money is a sunk cost at this point so the only right thing to do is make a clean break and move on.

  30. Just play it the same way the Steelers play it and say he “has a groin”. Melvin Ingram is now with the Chiefs and miraculously his “groin” is just fine now.

  31. As a Steelers fan I will admit the Browns were a whole lot better without this guy last year. I would not give in to him. He initiated this social media ware by using his father and his friend. I wouldn’t cave and I wouldn’t give him what he wanted. He’s NOT a team player and what he did IS detrimental to the team. I woulds suspend him without pay and part ways in the off season. Sometimes a child needs disciplined. You can’t always reward them in the check out line with a candy bar just because they take a fit.

  32. They might not do anything to OBJ but if I was the Browns I wouldn’t roll out the red carpet for the next King James visit.Sure,LeBron could pay for a luxury suite and all that but that’s it.Nothing else extra and no access to the field or player or other special areas.

  33. I don’t know if one can say the Browns aren’t creating the right environment. Jr doesn’t want to be there, so if he’s been excused, WITH pay mind you, it sounds like a positive for both sides. They don’t want him and he doesn’t want them. Regardless of what the cba says, both parties seem on the same page here.

  34. I actually think the Browns have built a positive image with Kevin Stefanski and no one would doubt their judgement if they suspend Beckham four weeks without pay. It might create news, but they have the right to execute any power they have. He’s a diva personality and, while he has player rights, he’s not a “team” player. Team players don’t create this kind of discord. And I’m not sure Beckham has the kind of talent that is worth tolerating whatever it is he’s doing.

  35. supercharger says:
    November 4, 2021 at 10:06 am
    I don’t understand why the media is cheering this guy on.

    Please explain how the media is cheering Beckham on. Florio is simply pointing out how the CBA works. Perhaps you can list by name the media members who you believe are cheering for Beckham.

  36. It used to be “BB on Line 1” in these situations. Since the Pats will have to bum-skid into the playoffs, he’ll prolly choose a different team.

  37. Place him on the practise squad and make him toil away there. You’re paying him no matter what. If he acts out suspend without pay. When he returns and acts up suspend him again without pay. Browns win.

  38. The Browns, under current front office management, have gone from the very worst team in the NFL, to one of the best. It’s always been fun to second guess the Browns’ and rightfully so, but those days are over. Whatever they decide to do will most likely be the right move.

  39. He gets released tomorrow afternoon. Browns won’t have to answer to it, besides a statement until Monday and the focus that day is on the game. Friday around 4 EST.

  40. The Browns host the Ruggsless Raiders next month. Guessing they don’t want a disgruntled OBJ sharing everything he knows about Cleveland with them.

    I imagine they weren’t smart enough to get his playbook back. Meanwhile, he’s at Kinkos printing dozens of copies!!

  41. What a cancer and distraction. Winning obviously is not important to this guy. Browns need to get him out the door ASAP.

  42. charliecharger says:
    November 4, 2021 at 11:15 am
    The Browns, under current front office management, have gone from the very worst team in the NFL, to one of the best. It’s always been fun to second guess the Browns’ and rightfully so, but those days are over. Whatever they decide to do will most likely be the right move.

    21-19 over the past 2+ seasons (and currently having lost 3 of their last 4 games) is “one of the best”?

    Improved yes, but they are certainly not one of the “best”

  43. Browns need to hold him hostage until the season’s over. Basically every contending team in the AFC (Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, Pats, Colts, Titans) would love to bring him in on the cheap and see if it works out. Can’t let it happen.

  44. gibson45 says:
    November 4, 2021 at 10:28 am
    browns2022 says:
    November 4, 2021 at 9:35 am
    “ The only play is to let him go.”

    Opinions shouldn’t be conveyed as facts. Browns have options and shouldn’t be concerned with how their decisions are perceived by people not involved in the situation.

    Perhaps you would like to explain those options, or do you not believe what the CBA expressly states.
    The options are explained in the article. But Mike is stating that the Browns would damage their image by not releasing him. I disagree. Teams and players know OBJ is a diva and if the front office wants to stick it to him, I doubt it will affect the decision of the next guy coming in the door. Let him sit and trade him in the off-season and remind players to tell daddy to shut his mouth.

  45. So why can the Texans pay Watson to not play the entire season but the Browns can’t do the same thing here in this situation? Seems that option would be on the table for the Browns too. If I were the GM, I would pay him to not play this year and try to trade him again in the offseason.

  46. They wanted to put him in a corner with a dunce cap on but the CBA doesnt allow it. They told him he needs a note from his parents to be permitted to play again.

  47. Mind you the Browns had to have Jarvis Landry throw OBJ a TD last year. You seriously cant make this up

  48. Lets not forget the agents for these guys thrive on getting big contracts, contract extentions, or releases accompanied by new contracts, each time getting paid a commission.
    They can put so much crapola in the heads of these guys that they are being dis respected, they being held back so they cant get that bonus for running X, Catching X and always someone is out to get them.
    I would bet the farm that OBJ’s agent informed him, at the rate your going that big bonus for catching X passes is going out the window and its because Mayfield isnt getting the ball to you.

  49. I want Baker’s family to make a montage of all his drops and post it to social media.

  50. charliecharger says:
    November 4, 2021 at 11:15 am
    The Browns, under current front office management, have gone from the very worst team in the NFL, to one of the best. It’s always been fun to second guess the Browns’ and rightfully so, but those days are over. Whatever they decide to do will most likely be the right move.
    One of the best? Then check out how many teams the Browns beat this season, or last season that finished with a winning record, or have a current winning record. Yes, there was the Steelers who couldn’t get out of their own way toward the end of last season. The Browns are still who we thought they were.

  51. Yes, Odell really put the Browns in “checkmate” by going from a rising (super)star receiver and utterly flaming out in Cleveland. Yep. Teams are going to be champing at the bit to sign a 29-year old, washed up, diva receiver. What a gambit.

  52. The Browns are imploding right before our eyes. If they lose to the Bengals I think the season is over. Then they may need to go all in this offseason for Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers because they have a SB roster and are ready to win now.

  53. He makes one great catch and he thinks he’s Randy Moss or T.O.. He can’t touch either one. Way too much of a headache for the Value he might bring.

    BTW, no way are Ravens, and probably not the Steelers, interested in this diva

  54. The smart thing to do is hold on to him for a few more weeks until you can get a picture of what teams are shaping up for the playoffs.
    If the Browns can somehow pull out some wins here in a few weeks and become one of those playoff contenders you certainly wouldn’t want to cut him loose then and have one of your fellow contenders pick him up.that would be a disaster and give him more ammunition to come back at you for Revenge.

  55. Baker Mayfield’s dad should put out a video of all the drops by this clown. Why can’t they just treat him like the Texans do Deshaun Watson?

  56. It would be a horrible look if they do stuff like this against players that do their best, but it might actually discourage players who look to maximize their leverage and might or might not have injuries etc., who look to get as much as they can for as little as they have to give OBJ? maybe? from coming to the team. I’m sure if the Browns could turn back the clock the wouldn’t have brought him aboard. Why make it easy for this type of player? Making OBJ file a grievance may actually be a selling point to players who work hard, put the team first and don’t like Divas.

  57. The Browns should welcome OBJ back. They don’t have to let him participate in practice or games. Put him on the inactive list for the rest of the year. Also Mayfield should be placed on the IR and get surgery on his shoulder. The drama will be gone, OBJ gone next year, and if Mayfield doesn’t like it, he be gone too. Enough is enough, you are either a member of this TEAM, or your not. I could argue Mayfields wife started this whole thing, with her video of drops, and blaming receivers. OBJ and his dad just responded to her crap.

  58. Whether you like OBJ or not, whether you like Baker or not, doesn’t really matter – it is Stefanki’s job to get talented players involved. Baker has to run the plays called by Stefanski right? Why is Stefanski getting a pass? He stinks at play calling, he obviously stinks at managing players – this is pretty much Freddie Kitchens 2.0 – if I like you, you’ll play and see the ball – if I don’t like you, you won’t. This guy is not head coach material – the team is a CF and what’s he gonna say when the Bengals smash us? They are actually good – we can barely even score td’s. Call a spade, a spade at least.

  59. I think Bob McNair was correct!

    You can’t let the inmates run the prison!

    Watson and now Beckham. The Browns should send the message, sign a contract, play the contract out. Sit his butt down, just like the Texans and Watson. Every owner has plenty of money to set an individual problem player or two.

    These guys are the employee, what make them think they can dictate where they will play.

    The next CBA will cause a player lock out because of players like Watson and Beckham.

    The owners will not let the NFL go the way of the NBA. The owners will put replacement players on the field before they will let the players take control like the NBA!

    They owners have put replacement player on the field before, and will do it again, to break the backs of the players.

  60. From 2014-2016, OBJ was a top 10 reciever easy. The only recievers in the league you would definitely take over him were Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, and then arguments could be made for T.Y. Hilton, Jordy Nelson, and Dez Bryant. Looking at the numbers, I don’t think you could argue for Demariyous Thomas or AJ Green. Obviously this was a long time ago. The Falcons were a Super Bowl team. Matt Ryan was a league MVP.

    OBJ is not a sympathetic figure here, but there’s maybe a 5% chance that he one day, again, becomes the guy he was from 2014-2016. After this much time has passed, and all the injuries, it’s very very unlikely that he’s going to be that guy ever again. But there’s a chance.

    Baker Mayfield, on the other hand, is going to be a back up in two years, remembered as the guy who for some strange reason was in a lot of tv commercials.

  61. put him on injured reserve… he’s got a injured shoulder. Also, it wouldnt be a bad look for the browns to discipline a player who tried to sabatoge the team.

  62. There’s players in every sport that you just root against and this Dude is not only the captain of this list but currently driving the Bus!

  63. Baker Mayfield is on pace to throw 13 TD passes this year. And that’s rounding up from 12.8. Just saying. OBJ isn’t the Problem the QB is the problem and so is the Head Coach who cant figure out that running Nick Chubb more than having Scrubfield throw is the key to the Browns winning. Baker Mayfield is the primary problem why the Browns dont win, and the Head Coach is a very close 2nd. Austing Hooper with Matt Ryan last 2 years in Atlanta in 2018 had 71 receptions, 660 yards, and 4 TDs. In 2019, Austin Hooper had 75 receptions, 787 yards and 6 TDs.

    In 2020 with Scrubfield, Hooper had 46 catches, 435 yards and 4 TDs. So far this year, Hooper 18 catches, 169 yards and 1 TD.

    Anyone with a brain, knows this is a QB issue, not an OBJ issue. OBS is 100% right

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