The Patriots have an outside shot at Odell Beckham Jr. after release from Browns

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The Cleveland Browns and Odell Beckham Jr. have decided to go separate ways. The Browns are releasing the star receiver on Friday, according to multiple reports.

The two parties reached a new contract agreement that lowers the receiver’s salary and makes Beckham a more enticing player to claim on the waiver wire, which he’ll hit this weekend. Because of how the waiver system works over the weekend, Beckham won’t have a new home until Nov. 8, at the soonest. If no team claims him on waivers, he’ll hit the open market in free agency.

New England has the 15th spot in the waiver order, which could put them in play for the receiver. There are a few teams with higher waiver priority that might want Beckham: the Jaguars, the Eagles, the Seahawks, the Falcons, the 49ers and the Vikings.

The Patriots’ receiver depth chart includes Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry with returner Gunner Olszewski occasionally getting snaps. New England could add Beckham — if he falls to them in waivers — and he’d immediately be in play to be the team’s top receiver. He’s that impressive, with the receiver logging five seasons with 1,000+ yards in his first six years.

The question, however, is whether Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels would want to take on Beckham’s baggage. He has forced himself out of both New York and Cleveland, the only two organizations he has played for. While the Patriots have taken risks on mercurial receivers in the past, they had quarterback Tom Brady to maintain leadership in the locker room. It would be interesting to see if they think they can maintain a healthy atmosphere with rookie quarterback Mac Jones in the huddle and locker room with Beckham.

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