Report: Odell Beckham Jr. Won't Opt Out Despite Past Comments About 2020 SeasonAugust 3, 2020
Despite previous concerns about the 2020 NFL season, Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. doesn't plan to opt out, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
An interview with Lane Florsheim of the Wall Street Journal featured harsh comments on the league pushing forward with the season amid the coronavirus pandemic:
"We're not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? It's obviously for their money. 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."
Cabot reported these comments were made two weeks ago before he saw the improved safety measures at the Browns facility after reporting to training camp.
Andrew Gribble of the team's official site detailed the numerous changes in the facility created to improve social distancing and keep players safe.
Among the biggest differences is the locker room, which now holds only 40 players with six feet of distance plexiglass between each person. The room initially held 90 during training camp before rosters were cut down. The remaining lockers were moved to the weight room.
Additionally, the cafeteria will no longer be buffet style to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Wall Street Journal interview also took place before the NFL and NFLPA agreed to an adjusted CBA amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league allowed for players to opt out and receive a stipend, and the two sides agreed on the gradual return to the field with limited padded practices.
Offensive linemen Drew Forbes and Drake Dorbeck are the only two Browns to opt out as of Monday.
Beckham will reportedly play in 2020 as he looks to bounce back after a disappointing first season in Cleveland. Not only did the Browns go 6-10 despite massive expectations entering the year, Beckham also struggled with career lows in catches per game (4.6) and yards per game (64.7).
Though he did top 1,000 yards for the fifth time in six years, it was a far cry from when he earned three straight Pro Bowl selections to start his career.
Cleveland is set to begin its season Sept. 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.