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Ravens Insider: Odell Beckham Jr. released by Ravens in cost-cutting move after one season


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Odell Beckham Jr.’s brief stint with the Ravens ended much less ceremoniously than it began, with the team releasing the star wide receiver late Wednesday night.

The move was expected after Baltimore restructured his deal in January, which eliminated the void years in his contract and allowed the team to designate him as a post-June 1 release. Under Beckham’s original deal, the remaining years would have voided and the Ravens would’ve taken an $11.068 million cap hit.

The Ravens had until 4 p.m. Thursday to release him or else his $50 million place-holder salary for 2025 would become fully guaranteed.

Instead, the Ravens will carry $2.767 million in dead money for Beckham this year, with $8.301 million in dead money for 2025. Even with the release, his addition was a costly one.

Beckham, who turned 31 in November, signed a one-year, $15 million deal last offseason. The Ravens did so in part to entice Lamar Jackson to sign a long-term extension after the star quarterback told the team he wanted Baltimore to sign the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

But Beckham’s impact was mixed, at least on the field.

He had just 35 catches for 565 yards and three touchdowns in 2023, his lowest total in any season in which he played at least 12 games. He played 14 for Baltimore, missing two games early in the year because of an ankle injury before sitting out the regular-season finale to rest for the playoffs.

He averaged just 4.4 targets and 2.5 catches per game, though he did post a career-high 16.1 yards per catch. He had moments of brilliance as well, notably a 40-yard touchdown catch against the Cleveland Browns in November, 116 yards on four catches the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals, four catches for 97 yards and a touchdown against the Rams, and one spectacular 33-yard grab in a blowout of the Miami Dolphins.

But in the postseason, he had just four catches for 34 yards and no touchdowns in two games as the Ravens lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 17-10, in the AFC championship game.

Off the field, Beckham was a popular locker room presence and mentor to the team’s younger receivers, including rookie Zay Flowers, whose locker was next to Beckham’s and who led the Ravens in catches and yards. Beckham was popular with fans as well, especially during training camp, where he arrived to daily chants of “OBJ! OBJ!” as he returned to football for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in Super Bowl 56 in February 2022.

Likewise, Beckham seemed to genuinely enjoy his time with the organization.

“I absolutely love this place,” he said after the AFC title game. “This felt like a home. It felt amazing for me. The city of Baltimore … I wanted it for the city of Baltimore more than anything. I wanted them to be able to have that moment [when] we’re all standing on the field, and ‘The Bank’ [M&T Bank Stadium] is rocking, but [we] just came up short.

“If there is anything I felt about myself — regardless of anybody’s opinion or anything like that — is that I know that I can still play football, and I know that I still have [stuff] in the tank.”

It’s unclear what his market will be. Beckham planned to meet with the Jets before signing with the Ravens last year and could join quarterback Aaron Rodgers given New York’s need for another receiver. Beckham is projected to receive a one-year, $7 million deal in free agency, per Pro Football Focus.

Beckham is just the latest Raven who will be playing elsewhere next season, with inside linebacker Patrick Queen (Pittsburgh Steelers), running back Gus Edwards (Los Angeles Chargers), safety Geno Stone (Bengals), wide receiver-kick returner Devin Duvernay (Jacksonville Jaguars), cornerback Ronald Darby (Jaguars), guard John Simpson (Jets), inside linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips (Houston Texans) and long snapper Tyler Ott (Washington Commanders) all signing elsewhere. Right tackle Morgan Moses was traded to the Jets on Wednesday in a swap of draft picks.

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