Free up cap space
Quick, Myles Garrett and Nick Chubb need new deals. You can either keep both of them or Beckham, who are you letting go? That’s a question the Browns may need to deal with in the coming years. Myles Garrett will more than likely be looking for J.J. Watt numbers ($15 million a year at least) and Nick Chubb has earned himself (if he stays healthy) at least $9-10 million a year. Beckham will make around $15 million next year, and that money could easily go elsewhere if he continues to play mediocrely.
Beckham has had three straight down seasons for a variety of reasons. He’s simply not worth his deal any longer and anyone being honest with themselves agrees with that statement. According to Spotac, Beckham was the 3rd highest-paid wide receiver last year. He didn’t even play like the best wide receiver on this team, let alone one of the best in the league. So why should the Browns allocate funds for Beckham when they have better players at their respective positions who are going to need to be paid?
A guy who gets paid like Beckham should be the clear cut number one receiver on any team he’s on and he’s simply not. Jarvis Landry is the Browns’ best receiver, not just in stats but in actual gameplay footage. Landry and Mayfield just have better chemistry, with Landry being more consistent over the last three years than Beckham.
You could make a case that if Beckham were to take less, which he’d never do, and renegotiate his deal that he’d be someone the Browns would absolutely want on a reduced salary. Except he’d never take less money before his deal was done, and even if he did agree to that, the headaches aren’t going away. It’d just be best to sign other players to extensions and walk away from the deal that New York foolishly gave an injury-plagued asset.