Odell Beckham Jr. excused from Cleveland Browns practice for 2nd straight day amid WR’s uncertain future, source says


BEREA, Ohio — Odell Beckham Jr. was excused from practice for a second consecutive day Thursday, according to a source, as the wide receiver’s representation and the Cleveland Browns continue to work on the resolution for his future.

Beckham was told not to attend Wednesday’s practice one day after his father posted a video on Instagram highlighting times when quarterback Baker Mayfield either didn’t throw the ball to Beckham or missed him when he was open.

Beckham appears to have played his final game for the Browns. According to multiple sources, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski addressed the team before Wednesday’s practice and informed players that Beckham would no longer be a Brown as the team prepares for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Both Stefanski and Mayfield admitted Wednesday that they had not heard from Beckham since his father’s Instagram posts went viral.

Browns safety John Johnson III said Thursday that he hopes Beckham returns “if that’s possible,” and added that the “majority” of his teammates share that sentiment.

“The majority of this locker room would love to have him in this building — flat out,” Johnson said.

In addition to other comments, Odell Beckham Sr. responded with three green check marks in the comments section of a post that said Mayfield was “either hating on Odell or he just doesn’t want him shining.” Beckham Sr. also responded with “#bigfacts” to a post that called Mayfield “mediocre.”

Beckham, who turns 29 on Friday, is under contract for two more seasons but has no guaranteed money left on his deal. The NFL’s trade deadline was Tuesday, so Cleveland cannot trade Beckham until the start of the 2022 league year. The three-time Pro Bowler has a $1 million roster bonus due on the first day of training camp each of those seasons.

The Browns would save $15 million on their salary cap if they were to trade or release him during the offseason.

Mayfield said Wednesday that he was “pretty surprised by the video and the intentions and the feelings behind it” but left the door open for reconciliation, saying “we’ll work through it and do whatever it takes” if Beckham ultimately returns to the Browns.

Beckham had one catch for 6 yards in Sunday’s 15-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mayfield did target Beckham again late in the game, but the wide receiver went up for the ball with only one arm and failed to come down with the catch.

Cleveland’s passing game has struggled in recent weeks, as the Browns have fallen to 4-4 and last place in the AFC North standings. Mayfield ranks 27th in QBR (42.2) and has only six touchdown passes. Beckham, meanwhile, ranks 151st in the NFL in receptions per target and 139th in receptions per route run.

Both Beckham and Mayfield have played through shoulder injuries this season. The players have struggled with their connection since the Browns traded for Beckham during the 2019 offseason. Since then, they rank 57th out of 62 quarterback-receiver duos with a minimum of 125 targets, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Beckham and Mayfield also rank 59th in completion percentage (55%) and 60th in off-target percentage (27%). Mayfield has also underthrown or overthrown Beckham on 27% of his passes, the third-highest rate since 2019 of any quarterback and receiver.



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