The Cleveland Browns are still deciding on what to do with disgruntled wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., with teams around the league watching to see if he becomes available.
Two teams watching Beckham, in particular, are the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints, per ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.
“Sources: Saints and Raiders have displayed interest in Odell Beckham, Jr., who has currently cut contact with HC Kevin Stefanski,” Schultz tweeted on Wednesday. “The Browns could still release him, allowing him to then sign elsewhere. Even after his excused missed practice, I’m told OBJ plans to play Sunday.”
The Saints just found out that they’ll be without No. 1 wide receiver Michael Thomas the rest of the year as he deals with a new ankle injury.
Thomas is one of the best wide receivers in the league when healthy, leading the league in receptions in 2018 and 2019. His absence only compounds the Saints’ problems, who are also down starting quarterback Jameis Winson. The former top pick tore his ACL on Sunday in a win against the Buccaneers.
Beckham’s Future Uncertain With Browns
After a tumultuous trade deadline, the Browns spoke about the drama caused by Beckham at the trade deadline on Wednesday. Both head coach Kevin Stefanski and Baker Mayfield sounded unsure if Beckham would ever play another snap in a Browns uniform.
“For me, it is probably best if I just stay on Wednesday and know that he is excused today,” Stefanski told reporters when asked if the situation is repairable. “We will deal with everything else as it comes.”
Mayfield had a similar sentiment on being able to regroup.
“I do not know. I thought we had a very open line of communication going into it so we will see,” Mayfield said. “Like I said, more surprised than anything, as everybody was. We will see going forward. There is always room for improvement in any relationship so we will see.”
Browns Hold Power in Discussions on Beckham’s Future
Stefanski said Beckham’s reps were meeting with general manager Andrew Berry to discuss the next steps. What that is exactly is still to be determined.
“They are discussing a lot of things,” Stefanski said. “The truth is I do not have a ton of details for you. I am happy to answer as much as I can, but I think some things we will know more as we go.”
The Browns are on the hook for more than $8 million of his salary. If they waive Beckham, any other team could sign him and take on that money, which is unlikely. The more likely outcome would be that Beckham clears waivers, the Browns have to pay him and he’s free to sign with the team of his choice. If Beckham is unwilling to give back some of that money, they could simply have him sit out for the rest of the season and not fold to his desires to be set free.
Beckham has just 17 catches for 232 yards and no touchdowns this season.