(AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. wanted freedom and got his wish.
A disappointment and distraction before being released by the Cleveland Browns, Beckham cleared NFL waivers without being claimed Tuesday and can now sign as a free agent with any team.
Beckham was let go by the Browns on Monday, closing the book on a tumultuous week and his 2 1/2 seasons with the club. He was eligible to be grabbed by the other 31 teams, but none wanted to pick up the remaining $7.25 million he’s owed this season.
Beckham’s agent, Zeke Sandhu, and the Browns restructured his contract last week, dropping the final, non-guaranteed two years. Cleveland must pay him $4.25 million, but will save $3 million.
Obviously, the 29-year-old Beckham, who pushed hard this offseason to come back from knee surgery, would prefer to sign with a contender to have a shot at playing in a Super Bowl — a situation he thought he had with Cleveland.
On Monday, Seattle coach Pete Carroll teased about Beckham possibly landing with the Seahawks.
“You’ll have to wait and see how this all goes,” Carroll said. ”I didn’t say yes, or I didn’t say no. That’s just ’cause — you’ll see.”
The Browns grew tired of Beckham’s attitude and cut ties with the three-time Pro Bowler. Although he was reunited with former LSU teammate and close friend, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, Beckham was never truly happy in Cleveland.
He asked to be traded and never developed an on-field connection with Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Beckham essentially forced his release last week when his father shared an 11-minute video on social media — hours before the trade deadline — of plays in which Mayfield didn’t pass him the ball.
That was followed by NBA superstar LeBron James tweeting his support of Beckham with the hashtag: #FREEOBJ.
The Browns excused Beckham from practice for three days while setting up the conditions for his release.
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