Odell Beckham Jr.’s days — maybe hours — with the Browns could be numbered.
The star wide receiver was excused from practice on Wednesday, a day after his father caused a stir before the trade deadline by sharing a video of quarterback Baker Mayfield not throwing passes to his son.
On the team’s pre-practice injury report, Beckham’s reason for missing practice is listed as a “shoulder/non-injury related personal matter.”
And now, his future with the Browns (4-4) has reached a pivotal juncture after 2 1/2 seasons.
Beckham’s status is unclear. It’s possible the Browns could release the 28-year-old, who is under contract for two more seasons but is not guaranteed any money.
Coach Kevin Stefanski is scheduled to speak to reporters before practice. The Browns, who are in last place in the AFC North, visit the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) this week.
As Tuesday’s deadline neared, Odell Beckham Sr. shared an 11-minute video on Instagram titled: “Odell Beckham is Always Open for the Cleveland Browns in 2021.” The montage of plays showed Beckham not being thrown the ball by Mayfield.
Their lack of a connection has been an ongoing issue since Beckham arrived in a blockbuster 2019 trade from the New York Giants.
Compounding their lack of chemistry, Mayfield played better and led the Browns to the playoffs in 2020 — ending a nearly two-decade drought — after Beckham suffered a season-ending knee injury.
If Beckham Sr.’s social media posting wasn’t enough, NBA superstar LeBron James escalated the drama with a tweet that said: “OBJ will show again why he’s special. WR1 #FreeOBJ.”
Mayfield only threw two passes toward Beckham in Sunday’s 15-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had just one catch for 6 yards, and his other target was a high incompletion in the fourth quarter.
Since returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Beckham has 17 catches for 232 yards and no touchdowns this season. He’s also been playing with a sprained right shoulder that he hurt against Arizona on Oct. 17.