CLEVELAND — The recent Odell Beckham Jr. saga came to an end as the wide receiver was released by the Browns last week and signed with the Rams on Thursday. But it wouldn't be a goodbye without an actual goodbye, with Beckham sounding off for the first time since the online drama that proceeded his departure from the team.
On Nov. 5, the Browns announced the decision to release Beckham after a tumultuous week for the wide receiver and the team. Beckham's dad had taken to Instagram, sharing an 11-minute compilation video of moments his son appeared to be open but wasn't passed to by Baker Mayfield. Beckham's dad was also active in the comments, agreeing with some speculation that Mayfield was intentionally missing Odell Beckham Jr.
Hours after Beckham's dad posted on Instagram and social media was buzzing with opinions, NBA superstar LeBron James weighed in on it, as did Damian Lillard and Dez Bryant, among others. The rumblings came two days after a Browns loss to the Steelers that saw Beckham get just two targets. His one reception for six yards marked a career-low for the wide receiver.
Browns EVP of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry had conversations with Beckham and his representation following the incident and "determined that it is in the best interest of all parties involved that Odell no longer play for the Cleveland Browns," Berry said in a statement shortly after.
During the fallout from the incident and after the decision for Beckham and the Browns to part ways was made, Browns players including Mayfield, Myles Garrett and John Johnson III spoke about the incident, as did Browns coaches and Berry—but Beckham did not.
Even after signing with the Rams, Beckham had remained silent about the incident and was not asked any questions about Cleveland during his first press conference in Los Angeles.
But the silence came to an end Saturday evening with Beckham's letter.
"I want to thank the city of Cleveland for welcoming me with open arms. My goal was always to help bring a championship to the city of Cleveland from the first day I became a member of the Cleveland Browns," Beckham wrote. "Through all the ups and downs, injuries and rehab, I am forever grateful to have played in front of some of the greatest fans ever. Dawg Pound I thank you for embracing me and showing me so much LOVE!"
Beckham thanked Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam for giving him the opportunity to be a Brown, as well as the entire front office for the impact they had on him and the Beckham family.
After thanking his coaches and teammates in the letter, Beckham closed out with a special thank you to his best friend and once again former teammate Jarvis Landry.
"My brother Juice," Beckham wrote. "We have been blessed to have played together at the highest levels. Thank you for always pushing me to be the best man and player that I can be. You're truly a gift from God. I know God's plan never fails."
As the Browns and Rams do not face each other this season—unless both teams were to make it to the Super Bowl—the letter officially closes the chapter of Beckham's time in Cleveland.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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