OBJ is now truly free.
Former Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s wish was granted Tuesday, as NFL Network reported he made it through waivers unclaimed, allowing him to choose his team in free agency.
A Christmas Day matchup with the Browns is not out of the question, according to a report.
Beckham, 29, was waived Monday after a week of turmoil that resulted in an agreement on Friday to part ways. Terms of the settlement the Browns and Beckham signed Saturday made it unlikely he would be claimed.
The claiming team would have owed Beckham $7.25 million this season and with the final two non-guaranteed years wiped off his contract, he would become a free agent in March.
Passing through waivers means the Browns will pay Beckham $4.25 million.
When the situation blew up on Tuesday when Odell Beckham Sr. posted a video on Instagram of the times his son was open and quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t get him the ball, Beckham was owed $8 million by the Browns. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James quickly supported his friend Beckham with a #FreeOBJ tweet.
Beckham has made the Green Bay Packers his preferred destination, Jordan Schultz of the Schultz Report tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
The Browns visit Green Bay on Dec. 25 for a 4:30 p.m. game.
Beckham wants to play for a contender and the Packers, 7-2 and tied for the second-most victories in the NFL, fit that scenario, especially with Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the helm. The Packers’ top receivers are Davante Adams (58 catches, 786 yards, three touchdowns), Randall Cobb (20-244-4) and Allen Lazard (16-204-3), with running back Aaron Jones (33-237-4) and tight end Allen Lazard (16-204-3) Rodgers’ other top targets.
Citing league sources, USA Today’s Josina Anderson reported that Beckham will take some time and assess the best situation for him, with several options still on the table.
On Sunday, Mike Jones of USA Today reported that the Seattle Seahawks had shown strong interest in Beckham and coach Pete Carroll did not refute that Monday. Asked if Seattle would claim Beckham, Carroll said, “So, I didn’t say yes or I didn’t say no. That’s just cause … you’ll see,” according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Seattle could be interested in signing Beckham as a free agent. Other possible destinations are the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, Mike Florio said Sunday on NBC’s “Football Night in America.”
Waiver claims go in reverse order with the worst record first, giving the Detroit Lions (0-8) the initial chance at Beckham. Former Browns General Manager John Dorsey, who pulled off the blockbuster March 2019 trade with the New York Giants for Beckham, is a senior personnel executive for the Lions. But when asked if the Lions were interested, coach Dan Campbell shot that down Monday with an “Um, no.”
In 29 games (28 starts) over three seasons with the Browns, Beckham totaled 114 catches on 210 targets for 1,586 yards and seven touchdowns. He also recorded eight carries for 96 yards and a touchdown.
A league source said Beckham had asked the Browns to trade him multiple times in the offseason and again after a 15-10 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that game on Halloween, Beckham had one official target for 6 yards.
Hall of Fame coach weighs in on OBJ saga: Bill Cowher says Odell Beckham Jr. fallout won’t derail Kevin Stefanski’s long-term vision
The trade deadline passed at 4 p.m. on Nov. 2 without a deal because of Beckham’s high salary and the fact that he’s undergone three surgeries in the previous four years.
Marla Ridenour can be reached at [email protected] Read more about the Browns at www.beaconjournal.com/browns. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Ex-Brown Odell Beckham Jr. clears waivers, may be bound for Packers