Report: Odell Beckham Jr. will be free agent this offseason after pre-waivers deal with Browns

·3 min read

Odell Beckham Jr. is going to be on a new team this time next week, but he could join yet another in a matter of months.

The Cleveland Browns have reached a settlement with the disgruntled wide receiver that will result in him being placed on waivers on Monday, which would mean he will be claimed by another team on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Per Schefter, the deal — which is still pending NFLPA approval — will remove the final two years of Beckham's current contract, making him a free agent in the upcoming offseason. Additionally, any team that claims Beckham will be on the hook for $7.25 million in salary for the rest of the season.

Prior to the settlement, Beckham had two years remaining on the five-year, $95 million contract extension he signed while he was a member of the New York Giants. Both of those years came with a $13.75 million base salary, $1 million roster bonus and $250,000 workout bonus per OverTheCap.

Which teams have the cap space for Odell Beckham Jr.?

Beckham's remaining salary figures to limit which teams try to claim him via waivers, as most contenders are already nearing the limits of the NFL's salary cap.

According to Schefter and OverTheCap, only the following nine teams have $7.25 million in cap space at the moment:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Philadelphia Eagles

  • Denver Broncos

  • Seattle Seahawks

  • Carolina Panthers

  • Los Angeles Chargers

  • Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Washington Football Team

  • Cincinnati Bengals

Beckham's market isn't strictly limited to that group, though, as some other teams may be able to make a move that frees up some extra space. The Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots are all within $3 million of that $7.25 million mark.

Why did Browns and Odell Beckham Jr. do this?

It's not hard to see why Beckham would agree to such a deal. He might be getting what he wants by exiting the Browns, but he will have little control on where he ends up through the waiver system and will probably want to actually choose a new team as early as possible. By making teams pay up what remains of their cap space without getting the benefit of those two years, he makes it more likely he goes through waivers and hits free agency even sooner.

The two years on Beckham's deal are also non-guaranteed, so entering free agency quickly gives him a chance at more security with a new contract, provided he shows he still has value wherever he ends up next.

As Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Thursday, Beckham's Browns tenure is indeed over after two-and-a-half frustrating years. The Browns have since confirmed they intend to release him, and the financials of that release were the final thing to be figured out.

Beckham was one of the most dynamic players in the NFL with the Giants, but never seemed to find a groove alongside quarterback Baker Mayfield, leading to this week's awkward campaign to exit Cleveland. It's a divorce in which both sides clearly think the other was the problem, and we may soon get an answer on who is right.

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