Cleveland Browns star Odell Beckham Jr. is not expected to opt out of the 2020 season, sources told ESPN, despite comments published Monday by WSJ Magazine from an interview conducted before the wide receiver reported to training camp and saw the team’s facilities.
Beckham has been a full participant in the Browns’ COVID-19 intake tests. After the WSJ Magazine interview was published, sources told ESPN that Beckham would not opt out of the season.
“Obviously with everything that’s going on, it doesn’t make sense why we’re trying to do this,” Beckham told the publication two weeks ago.
“We’re not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? It’s obviously for their money,” Beckham added. “And that bothers me because there’s always been this — and I hate saying it like that — but the owners’ [attitude is], ‘Oh we own you guys,’ and just kind of that unfairness going on that they don’t see us as human. I just feel like the season shouldn’t happen and I’m prepared for it to not happen and I wouldn’t mind not having it.”
Beckham offered similar reservations last month during a roundtable discussion on his YouTube channel with Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley, New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton and former NFL wide receiver Victor Cruz.
“We’re in a place where people are really being affected, economy is being affected, people are dying, numbers are spiking — the s— is real,” Beckham said then. “Yet they’re trying to make football happen. With everything going on, what does that say about our country, that [football] is that important?”
Two Browns — guard Drew Forbes and undrafted rookie offensive lineman Drake Dorbeck — have opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns about the pandemic. More than 40 NFL players have thus far elected to opt out.