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Potential Odell Beckham Jr. Landing Spots

Odell Beckham free agent

News broke last night that the Cleveland Browns could release Odell Beckham Jr. today. There had been a lot of drama all week that had led to Beckham Jr. potentially leaving Cleveland. After a game last week where he only saw one target Beckham’s father posted a video on his Instagram displaying opportunities when Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had blown opportunities to get the ball to his son. Then Cleveland almost traded Beckham at the trade deadline Tuesday. For the next two days, Beckham had been asked not to come to practice. That leads people to speculate on potential Odell Beckham Jr.

It appears that the Browns are done with Odell Beckham Jr. as much as it seems that he is done with him. NFL reporter Michael Silver reported that Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski told his players Odell Beckham Jr. is not a part of the team. Multiple reports also stated that Browns’ General Manager had been meeting with Beckham Jr.’s representatives about his future with the team.

According to the report by Pro Football Talk, Cleveland is trying to revise Beckham Jr.’s contract to reduce the amount of salary they would have to pay if he was cut and not claimed off waivers. Since the trade deadline has passed veterans outside of their rookie deals become subject to waivers. Players released onto waivers get picked up by the team with the highest priority. However, if Beckham is not claimed on waivers, then he will be able to pick his new team and the Browns would have to take a dead cap hit.

Beckham Jr.’s dead cap hit would be $12.79 million if he was not claimed off waivers and became a free agent according to Over the Cap. If his contract was revised there would be a higher chance of Beckham Jr. being claimed off of waivers because it would be a reduced salary his new team would have to pay the rest of the season.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported what a team claiming Beckham Jr. would have to pay for the rest of his contract. The team that lands Beckham off waivers would have to pay his remaining $8.05 million salary for this season. Then they would pay Beckham $15 million in each of the next two seasons if he was a part of his roster. The final two years of his deal would not be guaranteed which would make it easy for a team to cut ties with him after this season.

Beckham has not been released (yet), however, there is speculation and rumors of teams who would be interested in picking up the former Pro Bowl receiver if he was available. Here are potential Odell Beckham Jr. landing spots.

New Orleans Saints

There is no more obvious landing spot for Odell Beckham Jr. than the New Orleans Saints. Shortly after the NFL Trade Deadline concluded Tuesday ESPN’s Kimberly Martin reported that the Saints had trade talks to acquire the disgruntled wide receiver. However, the two sides could not agree on a deal.

New Orleans is 5-2 and is lacking a spark on offense in the passing game. New Orleans has gotten brutal production out of their top wide receivers Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Tre’Quan Smith, and Kenny Stills all season. Now that Jameis Winston will now miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, New Orleans could use a weapon like Beckham Jr.

The combination of Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian may not be the quarterbacks that Beckham had wanted over Baker Mayfield. However, Sean Payton is the type of coach who would do everything in his power to take advantage of what Beckham Jr. brings to an offense. He would be the focal point of the passing game similar to what he was in New York. There are not many teams who could make Beckham Jr. the clear #1 wide receiver in their offense at this point of the season. On top of that, there would be a lot of appeal for Beckham to join a team in New Orleans that is known for producing offensive stars and being in the Super Bowl picture every year.

A major factor that could lead Beckham to New Orleans is the fact that he was born in raised in Louisiana. He was born in Baton Rouge and on top of that went to LSU. At this point of his career, he may want to go home and play for his hometown team while he can still produce at a high level.

New Orleans would have to wait for Beckham Jr. to clear waivers to sign him. He would immediately become the focal point to the Saints’ passing game. Also if Beckham plans to resign with the Saints next offseason he could either become a dynamic duo with former All-Pro Michael Thomas or be insurance for New Orleans if they trade him in the offseason.

Las Vegas Raiders

Last week the Las Vegas Raiders would not have needed a high-profile wide receiver like Odell Beckham Jr. However after the unfortunate events that occurred earlier this week involving Henry Ruggs that resulted in his release they have a void at the position. The receiver slated to replace Ruggs on the depth chart opposite Bryan Edwards is former second-round pick Zay Jones.

Las Vegas can start Jones opposite Edwards and bring in a veteran like John Brown or Willie Snead Jr. who were with the team earlier this season but were granted their release when they requested it due to the lack of playing time. They could even bring in DeSean Jackson who has a similar playing style to Ruggs. But the Raiders could have the opportunity to bring in a legitimate number one receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. to fill that void.

Beckham Jr. does not bring the exact skill set Ruggs brought to the offense, but not many players in the NFL possess that kind of speed. He has shown the ability to stretch the field and make dynamic plays in small doses in Cleveland. Beckham would bring a more intricate route tree to Las Vegas’ offense that could divert attention away from Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller.

There are a lot of uncertainties around the Las Vegas Raiders right now. Their coaches, executives, and the roster could go through major changes this offseason. But for right now Las Vegas is a 5-2 football team atop the AFC West and half a game out from the top of the AFC. Beckham could be enticed by the city of Las Vegas, the team being a potential playoff contender, and the prospects of playing with a quarterback like Derek Carr. Unlike his (soon to be former) quarterback Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr airs the ball out on a consistent basis. Las Vegas’ offense is led by the passing attack. Carr has thrown for 300+ yards in nine of his last twelve games. He would become the number one wide receiver and number two pass catcher for one of the league’s best passing offenses.

On top of that Beckham Jr. may be interested in pairing up with Derek Carr the human being. Especially this season Carr has shown that he is a great player on and off the field. He is so dedicated to bringing this organization a championship, is a great teammate, and an outstanding leader. Carr could convince a player like Beckham to become a part of the Raiders long-term future after the season. He could appreciate a talent like Beckham Jr. considering the Raiders have not been able to find him a true number one wide receiver since they traded away Amari Cooper during the 2018-19 season.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are all in on this season. This could very well be the last season that Aaron Rodgers (along with Davante Adams) is on the team. Green Bay has tried to do everything in their power to keep Rodgers happy and also put the team in a position to win a Super Bowl this season. The ultimate way to upgrade their roster at this point of the season is by doing the one thing Rodgers has longed for over the last couple of seasons. They need to sign Odell Beckham Jr. to be the #2 receiver to this offense.

Green Bay hasn’t had a true number two receiver to this offense since Randall Cobb originally left the team in 2019. Since then the Packers have been rolling with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard as their secondary targets on offense. Both Valdes-Scantling and Lazard are solid players that do well in what they’re asked to do. But in a league where many of the top teams have offenses with a multitude of dangerous playmakers, they are way below the standard.

Beckham Jr. would no doubt be the number two receiver to Davante Adams. But he would be joining an offense led by last season’s MVP Aaron Rodgers who threw 40 touchdowns last season. There is no doubt that Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur would do everything in their power to get superstar-level production out of Beckham Jr. This addition could send the 7-1 Packers over the top and help them achieve their ultimate prize of a Super Bowl.

New England Patriots

It is possible that if Odell Beckham Jr. was traded to the New England Patriots in 2019 then Tom Brady would still be with the team. However, that is not the case and Brady is in Tampa Bay. The Patriots were considered a prime landing spot for Beckham before he was traded to Cleveland in 2019 more multiple reasons. At multiple points of his career, Beckham Jr. had been compared to Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss who had a career rejuvenation in New England. On multiple occasions, it has been reported that Odell Beckham Jr. wants to play for Bill Belichick. Also, New England has struggled to draft pass catchers in recent years.

Three years later none of that has changed. So New England still feels like a realistic landing spot for Beckham Jr. The largest difference is that instead of playing with Tom Brady, Beckham Jr. would be joining a run-heavy offense run by 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones. This may not be the best destination for Beckham to land if he wants a large guaranteed role on an offense. But Beckham Jr. joining this team may result in Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels opening up the playbook more for their rookie quarterback and expanding the passing game. If that is the case New England could finally have the dynamic pass-catcher they have been lacking the past two seasons.

New England could potentially make the playoffs if they get hot down the stretch. An offense featuring weapons like Odell Beckham Jr. Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Damien Harris, Jakobi Meyers, and Nelson Agholor may be dangerous enough to do some damage down the stretch. Beckham Jr. could be the missing piece this team needs to enter that elite tier atop the AFC as a playoff contender.

Kansas City Chiefs

This season has been brutal for the Kansas City Chiefs. The back-to-back AFC Champions are currently 4-3 and outside of the playoff picture. Teams have created a game plan to slow down Kansas City on offense by taking away the deep plays and forcing Patrick Mahomes to check down the ball and go on long drives as opposed to being an explosive playmaker leading short drives they have been accustomed to. They also have not been able to run the ball effectively to take advantage of the safeties playing deep on a majority of snaps. Defensively Kansas City is among the worst in the league and had forced the team to play in close games and shootouts every week.

A major flaw that has been exposed in Kansas City’s offense that has been exposed this week has been their lack of a true second outside threat. Defenses have been able to take away Tyreek Hill on deep routes and clog the middle of the field where Travis Kelce makes most of his plays. The Chiefs lost Sammy Watkins in the offseason and former second-round pick Mecole Hardman has failed to live up to expectations in his third year in the league. In a panic move, Kansas City could potentially bring in Odell Beckham Jr. hoping he brings what this team needs to be competitive the rest of this season.

Beckham Jr. will not be able to fix the defensive woes. But he will be able to fill the Sammy Watkins role and be an upgrade over what they’ve had their the past few seasons. Beckham Jr. can not only stretch the field but can get open in space pretty much anywhere in the field. If Kansas City had Beckham Jr. running intermediate routes (like slants) it would have to get the attention of one of the safties up top covering Tyreek Hill on deep routes or one of the defenders in the middle of the field covering Kelce. Depending on how defenses respond one of Hill, Kelce, or Beckham Jr. would have a great opportunity to make a play and move the offense down the field at a faster rate.

Teams have figured out how to limit two of Kansas City’s playmakers. But if a third playmaker with Beckham Jr.’s skillset was added then it would be almost impossible to keep all three from making plays in space. This would have a similar impact to what Antonio Brown did to Tampa Bay’s offense last season. His addition wouldn’t guarantee Kansas City making their third straight Super Bowl appearance. But it could give the Chiefs the push they need to get to the playoffs this season.

Philadelphia Eagles

The one legitimate darkhorse to land Odell Beckham Jr.’s services are the Philadelphia Eagles. Unlike the previously mentioned teams, the Eagles have the salary cap space to claim Beckham Jr. off waivers and pay the rest of his contract without limiting them much financially. This may come as a shock considering the Eagles have spent back-to-back first-round picks at wide receiver.

They have not gotten the production many would expect from two first-round pick wide receivers. 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith has been fine this season. But in two seasons 2020 first-round pick Jalen Reagor has been extremely disappointing since joining the team. Over the last three games, Reagor has been fourth or fifth on the team with targets behind DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and slot receiver Quez Watkins.

Even though Philadelphia is 3-5 this season they have not given up on the season. The Eagles have shown signs of life and the potential to possibly make the playoffs as a wild card at times this year. Adding Beckham to this offense could be the spark this offense needs to carry this team to possible playoff contention. He would be a veteran presence for a young offense still trying to figure itself out. He would have a major role for this offense and could be the team’s #1B receiver to DeVonta Smith’s 1A, similar to Justin Jefferson and Adam Theilen in Minnesota.

This may not be an ideal situation for Beckham to be in this season from a winning and production standpoint. However, he would have an increased role in a pass heavier offense and could be thrilled by the idea of playing his former team the New York Giants twice a year by returning to the NFC East.

Other teams who could land Odell Beckham Jr.

Los Angeles Rams:

The Los Angeles Rams are no strangers to adding stars throughout their roster considering they traded for Von Miller this week. This week they also lost two receivers for the season in DeSean Jackson who asked to be released and 2021 second-round pick Tutu Atwell to Injured Reserve. Beckham wouldn’t get the role he imagined. He would serve as a complementary receiver likely rotating with Van Jefferson and Robert Woods and being fourth on the depth chart. But he would be joining a bonafide Super Bowl contender and would be making the most dynamic offense in the league even more dangerous.

Seattle Seahawks

A 3-5 start to the year won’t have the Seahawks waving the white flag because their first-round pick belongs to the New York Jets. Seattle may be interested in adding Beckham via waivers to give Russell Wilson the best opportunity possible to cook and try to run the table bringing this team back to the playoffs. Beckham Jr. is a major upgrade over Freddie Swain and 2021 second-round pick Dee Eskridge has not been healthy nor had a major role for this offense this year. D.K. Metcalf on one side, Odell Beckham Jr. on the other, with Tyler Lockett in the slot may be the most athletic receiving core in NFL history.

San Francisco 49ers

Similar to the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers have started the season 3-5 and do not have their first-round pick. One of the major surprises this season is how dependent the 49ers’ offense has become on Deebo Samuel. Jimmy Garoppolo has not featured George Kittle (when healthy) the same way he has in the past. On top of that 2020 first-round pick, Brandon Aiyuk has been extremely disappointing from an expectations standpoint. Aiyuk is currently behind Mohamed Sanu on the depth chart and is slowly leaving Kyle Shanahan’s dog house. Beckham could be a new weapon for Kyle Shanahan to play with and utilize similarly to how he used Emmanuel Sanders when they acquired him during the 2019-20 season.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have one of the best wide receiver trios in the league on paper. Carolina’s top receivers are D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and 2021 second-round pick Terrace Marshall Jr. However both Anderson and Marshall Jr. have been extremely disappointing this season. Both Carolina’s owner David Tepper and Scott Fitterer have shown multiple examples of being aggressive in adding stars to their team. Since taking over they have added notable players like Sam Darnold, C.J. Henderson, and Stephon Gilmore to this roster. They may continue that trend by claiming Beckham Jr. off waivers and adding him to their roster that they believe could contend now. Beckham Jr. could rotate with Anderson and Marshall Jr. and also push them to produce more if they don’t want to lose their role for the offense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It would be overkill for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to add Odell Beckham Jr. to their offensive skill players. They already have a trio of Pro Bowl-caliber wide receivers, a Pro Bowl tight end, and great young depth at both positions. But Tom Brady is the master recruiter and could convince Beckham to join for a reduced role on a championship team and elite offense. Beckham did have an interest in playing with Brady in 2019 when he was in New England. If he doesn’t land in Tampa Bay now look out for Beckham to potentially sign with the Buccaneers during the offseason if he was to clear waivers and sign a one-year deal to finish this season. Tampa Bay is going to need a replacement for Chris Godwin and potentially Antonio Brown. Beckham Jr. fits the mold of a player who would sign and thrive in Tampa Bay.

Jacksonville Jaguars

If Odell Beckham Jr. was to be claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars he may be furious. But it wouldn’t be realistic to expect a team who has made some questionable transactions to not consider claiming a player like Beckham despite their 1-6 record. Jacksonville has been relying on former Pro Bowl kick returner Jamal Agnew to replace D.J. Chark on this team’s offense. Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke may be enticed by the idea of pairing Beckham Jr. with formerly highly regarded prospect and Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawerence. This offseason Chark will be a free agent and seems likely to part with the team. This would give Jacksonville a veteran replacement and a potential upgrade at the position.

Baltimore Ravens

Due to injury, Baltimore has been forced to throw the ball more than they have since Lamar Jackson was named the starting quarterback in his rookie season. What has surprised people about their change in philosophy is how well it has worked. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has looked like the true number one receiver they drafted him to be in 2019. Also 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman has played well in his first two games. At 5-2, Baltimore should do their diligence and consider adding a veteran receiver like Beckham Jr. to their offense who would be an upgrade over veteran Sammy Watkins. On top of joining a potential playoff team, Beckham Jr. could join Baltimore for the opportunity to play the Browns twice later in the season and try to end their playoff hopes.

Los Angeles Chargers

In the last couple of weeks, the hype on the Los Angeles Chargers has slowed down since they’ve fallen to 4-3. However, they should still be regarded as one of the elite teams in the AFC. Justin Herbert has a dynamic duo of wide receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and an outstanding pass-catching running back in Austin Ekeler. Adding Odell Beckham Jr. to that group of playmakers could set the Chargers over the top. An offense featuring Justin Herbert deciding to either throw to Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Williams on the outside, Keenan Allen in the slot, or Austin Ekeler out of the backfield could be one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. Unlike most contenders, Los Angeles wouldn’t have to wait till he clears waivers to bring him in. The Chargers have the cap space to claim Beckham Jr. and bring him into Los Angeles for the next two and a half seasons.

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