First, there was the mostly unfounded Antonio Brown gossip. Then, Jarvis Landry’s implausible signing. Now, it’s Julio Jones and Super Bowl winner Odell Beckham Jr. who are being rumored to join the Ravens this offseason.
Both are aging and injury-prone receivers whose best days are likely behind them, but of the two, Beckham may have a better chance of landing in Baltimore.
The 2021 Super Bowl champ is coming off a hectic year that saw him get traded mid-season and play eight regular-season games with the Los Angeles Rams.
In those games, Beckham recorded a respectable 305 yards and added five touchdowns, but he shined most in the postseason when he made several big plays to keep the Rams’ Super Bowl hopes alive.
Immediately after the Rams’ championship win, Beckham staying with his team seemed like a foregone conclusion given how well he gelled with quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Yet the Rams lost a huge part of their elite defense, Von Miller, this free agency, and Beckham could be next as part of an ensuing Rams exodus.
The Rams recently signed wide receiver Allen Robinson but traded away Robert Woods in a pair of significant wideout moves this past week.
What are the odds OBJ leaves LA to join Baltimore? Exactly +350, according to some oddsmakers.
Ahead of the Ravens, the New Orleans Saints apparently have the best odds of signing OBJ at +300.
Odell Beckham Jr. is yet another big-name receiver linked to the Ravens in 2022
Arguably the top remaining free-agent wideout available, Beckham would serve as an automatic upgrade to almost any receiver room, the Ravens included.
He tore his ACL in the Super Bowl, marking his second ACL tear to the same left knee, and his ability to stay healthy going into the 2022 season will likely be a bargaining chip for interested teams.
Nonetheless, Beckham’s fantastic 2021 performance rejuvenated his dying career and dramatically upped his stock.
Whereas a downward trending talent like Julio Jones may only receive a “prove-it” deal, Beckham already proved himself in Los Angeles this past year and will likely want a lucrative contract with a sizeable portion of guaranteed money.
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said at his season-ending press conference that he “would not expect any significant additions [at wide receiver] at this time … [but] that could always change.”
For the right player, it could change. For Beckham, probably not.
Beckham’s career so far could be characterized as a range of mountains and valleys, from his explosive start on the New York Giants to his drama-filled tenure on the Cleveland Browns to finally getting his due and winning a ring with the Rams.
Despite the intriguing and exciting offense that Beckham and Lamar Jackson could make, the Ravens appear to have more pressing offseason needs in other positions, and Beckham doesn’t seem like the type of player (or personality) the Ravens are looking to add right now.
Last season, Baltimore took a chance on veteran wideout Sammy Watkins, and his integration into the offense didn’t exactly go as planned.
It’s difficult to say whether the team will try such a move again, but if the Ravens do go after OBJ they’ll likely need to fork over a little more than the $5 million they gave to Watkins.
As DeCosta said, anything can happen, but given Beckham’s high price point, the value just isn’t there. The Ravens should take a firm pass.