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.
The move is expected to be accompanied by a revised contract that reduces the team’s obligation to pay Beckham, if he’s not claimed on waivers and becomes eligible for the balance of his salary termination pay. The challenge for Beckham becomes not making the reduced salary so low that someone claims the contract on waivers.
If/when he clears waivers, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any team.
Because he was on the Cleveland roster as of Tuesday, he’ll get paid by the Browns for this week. As soon as next week, he could be on a new team.
The week began with the Browns hoping to get Beckham more involved in the offense. On Tuesday, an apparently orchestrated social-media campaign began, with his father posting a video of the various instances when Beckham was open and quarterback Baker Mayfield to get him the ball. Then, Cleveland icon Lebron James tweeted “#FreeOBJ.” Trade talks with the Saints went nowhere.
It became obvious on Wednesday that Beckham won’t play again for the Browns. Coach Kevin Stefanski reportedly told the team that Beckham no longer would be part of it, and Stefanski didn’t deny it when asked whether the report was true. The team excused Beckham from practice on Wednesday and Thursday.