Why Odell Beckham’s contract was so tough for Browns to move

The Cleveland Browns will release Odell Beckham Jr. after not trading him and his contract is a reason why he was hard to move

So why don’t the Cleveland Browns just cut Odell Beckham, Jr. and be done with him? Or an even better question is why they didn’t dump him before the trade deadline?

The national media, which hungers for an opportunity to attack Cleveland just as much as Jaws loves to attack bad actors in the water, would have you believe that that OBJ could have been traded to a team like New Orleans, and he would have instantly assimilated the Saints playbook and started making sensational catches.

He would have been well worth the $7.7 million for the remaining nine games this season. So why didn’t that happen?

The reason is totally obvious. The salary cap is real, and no sane NFL general manager would take on a $14.5 million per year player who is substantially underperforming that contract. In financial terms, OBJ is a toxic asset.

If you look around the NFL, by the numbers from overthecap.com, Beckham is the sixth highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, while Pro Football Focus grades him below the top 50 wide receivers. He is number 96 in the NFL in receiving yards. He’s not worth his money.

So why were the Saints apparently talking trade? No doubt it was because New Orleans also has some toxic assets of their own that they needed to unload. If you thought that the Saints were going to give nice draft picks for Odell and his salary, you can be certain that this was not the case. The New Orleans football team is known as the Saints, but their accounting department includes people who are devilishly clever.

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The Saints have several players whose contracts are loaded into the far future because they got into a salary cap jam when they overcommitted in the last year of Drew Brees’ career. In short, they have several toxic contracts to get rid of also. The team is locked into overpaying now because they used the play-now-pay-later plan and the time has come to pay those bills.

Without having any insider information, it’s one thousand percent certain that the proposed OBJ deal involved the Saints getting OBJ now, and the Browns helping New Orleans ease their 2022 salary cap problem. However, Andrew Berry was apparently not willing to sell his soul to the Satanic accountants in New Orleans, and the deal fell through.

What’s up with Odell Beckham’s contract renegotiation?

Now, what’s going on with OBJ going on waivers? What is all the renegotiation about? In fact, why renegotiate anything.

What the Browns do not want to have happen is Joe Haden 2.0, where a star player is granted his freedom and decides to play with one of the Browns worst rivals. Why are we in a hurry to make Odell and his lawyer, LeBron James, happy and give him complete freedom to damage the organization as much as possible and pay him his full salary to do it?

Our discussion among the Dawg Pound Daily brain trust was very spirited with several of your favorite authors taking part. Fur was flying everywhere.

What we seemed to conclude is this: there are very respected “secret source” guys from ESPN: Jeremy Fowler and Adam “Schefty” Schefter, but in this case they flatly contradict. Fowler is saying that the renegotiation is making OBJ’s contract very easy to be claimed via waivers, and the Browns are paying for most of the expense.

Probably the $7.25 million figure comes from dividing OBJ’s $14.5 salary by half. That’s appropriate even though it’s a 17 game season, because it is an 18 week season for pay purposes and there will be nine weeks left if he is claimed this week.

Browns and Odell Beckham have discussed a new contract structure that would reduce his base salary as low as around $1M, per source. All of this isn’t done, both sides must agree, but possible Browns eat much of remaining $7.25M and a team inherits vet minimum salary off waivers

Anyway, the NFL minimum salary for an eight-year veteran is $1.075 million, so the maximum the Browns could convert to bonus would be $6.60 million. If we believe Fowler’s version, any team in the NFL could claim OBJ.

Okay, but Schefty has a secret source who says something different. He claims that the new team would inherit $7.25 million worth of salary obligations. In this case, it’s highly improbable that he gets claimed. He becomes a free agent with the Browns getting stuck for 100% of the bill.

Additionally, any team that claims Odell Beckham Jr. would inherit $7.25 million of salary for the remainder of the season, per sources. The cost is considered high for a player that now will be considered a rental with this being the last year of his contract.

OBJ would be free to sign with the Baltimore Ravens and play the Browns twice, the worst-case scenario. Why would Andrew Berry facilitate this? This is totally implausible.

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Better to just hang on to the player and pay him to stay home, as Tampa Bay did with Keyshawn Johnson years ago when he was feuding with coach Jon Gruden.

Let’s make a questionable assumption What if logic is prevailing here?

What Berry should be doing is converting some substantial amount of salary money to bonus, but not zero percent (total victory for the player) or 100% (total victory for the team). It’s probably something closer to 50%.

Both sides win if the Browns discount the cost enough that a winning team will claim him off waivers, but if the price is still high enough so that a losing team is dissuaded from claiming him on a lark. That’s what Mr. and Mrs. Berry sent their kid to Harvard to learn how to do, create win-win negotiations.

It would be utterly shocking if OBJ’s agent, Zeke Sandhu of Elite Athlete Management is able to get Cleveland to pay his client to become a free agent. Similarly, it would be equally shocking to see OBJ wearing the uniform of the Jacksonville Jaguars next week.

No, guessing here is that Sandhu and Berry will come up with an acceptable number that allows Beckham to play football this season, but which affords some amount of compensation to the Browns. Otherwise, if the sides cannot agree, OBJ should just be grounded until such time as the Browns either win the Super Bowl or are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Don’t pay a player to beat you if you do not have to, while getting nothing back for it (shout out to Joe Haden).

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