Odell Beckham Jr. appears headed toward a split from the Cleveland Browns, and some experts believe that the Buffalo Bills could stand to benefit from the drama.
As ESPN’s Jake Trotter reported, the Browns wide receiver was excused from practice on Thursday, the second consecutive day he was not in attendance. The team reportedly told Beckham not to attend practice on Wednesday after the wide receiver’s father posted a video showing the times that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield missed an open Beckham.
As Trotter wrote, Beckham has likely played his last game for the Browns. He reported that head coach Kevin Stefanski told players on Wednesday that Beckham would no longer be part of the team.
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Next Stop, Buffalo?
While neither the team nor Beckham have confirmed reports that he is on the way out, betting outlets are already speculating about where the All-Pro receiver will end up next. The site BetOnline.ag pegged the Bills as the fourth most-likely option, behind the Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints. The Bills got 4-to-1 odds, the same as their AFC East rival New England Patriots.
It’s not clear exactly where Beckham might fit in a jam-packed receiving corps for the Bills, one so heavy with talent that some have had to endure stretches without many targets from quarterback Josh Allen. Cole Beasley, last year’s No. 2 receiver, had a career-best 11 catches against the Washington Football Team and followed it up with a total of four targets over the next two weeks.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott explained that Beasley and other receivers will inevitably have stretches where they don’t see much action.
“It’s hard when you don’t get the football. And I get that,” McDermott said, via Nick Fierro of SI.com’s Bills Central. “There’s only one football to go around, and sometimes it’s not just one game, it’s two games, it’s three games and how are you going to react? And that’s some of what we look for in the character of our players, because you’re going to go through … some adversity in your career or during a season.”
Adding Beckham into the mix could be even more difficult for the Bills, especially with McDermott’s focus on a strong culture and harmonious locker room.
More Likely Landing Spots
Not everyone sees Buffalo as a strong contender to land Beckham — or even an option at all. Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports broke down the 10 teams he believes are most likely to nab the disgruntled Browns receiver, a list that did not include the Bills at all.
Like the betting outlet, Benjamin identified the Saints as the most likely next destination for Beckham, pointing out that the team had already tried to land him this year.
“They reportedly discussed a trade for Beckham prior to the deadline, so it’s obvious they’re interested,” he wrote. “With Michael Thomas now out for the year, they desperately need WR help, and even more so with Jameis Winston also sidelined for good. Beckham might not salivate at the thought of catching passes from Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill, but he’s from the area and would instantly become WR1 again — likely with a chance to return to the market in 2022.”
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