NFL | BROWNS

Browns: Odell Beckham to be released after social media furor

The Cleveland Browns look set to bring wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr's time with the franchise to an end after criticism of QB Baker Mayfield.

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Beckham expected to be released by Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to be released by the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple reports.

Beckham was excused from practice on Wednesday and Thursday, with Tuesday having seen both his father, Odell Beckham Sr, and four-time NBA MVP LeBron James complain on social media about his lack of involvement in the Browns' offense.

And the situation appears to have reached the point of no return, with Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reporting the Browns plan to release him on Friday.

Adam Schefter of ESPN and NFL Network reported the Browns are working on a restructured deal with Beckham. Once that is finalised, he will be released and go on waivers, where he can be claimed by another team.

Should he clear waivers, he will be free to sign with any team of his choice.

Browns looking to save money on Beckham deal

According to Schefter, the Browns are attempting to convert Beckham's $14.5mlillion 2021 base salary into signing bonuses in an effort to save money.

Beckham was traded to the Browns by the New York Giants in 2019, though he has failed to hit the heights expected during his time in Cleveland.

He finished his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 receiving yards, but the Browns missed out on the playoffs.

Beckham was sidelined with a torn ACL in 2020 as the Browns ended their postseason drought, reaching the Divisional Round, and he returned from that injury in Week 3 of this season.

So far this year, Beckham has made 17 catches for 232 yards for a Browns team that sits last in the AFC North at 4-4 as quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was seemingly the target of the ire of Beckham's father, has battled a torn labrum.

Despite his struggles in Cleveland, Beckham - a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time second-team All-Pro with the Giants - would seemingly have plenty of interest in his services.

He topped 1,000 yards in four of his five seasons with the Giants - most of 2017 was lost to an ankle injury - with Julio Jones (103.8) and Antonio Brown (100.6) the only wide receivers between 2014 and 2018 to average more yards per game than Beckham (92.8).