There might have been more impactful free-agent signings across the NFL this offseason, but only a few could trump the hype generated by the one linking Super Bowl champion Odell Beckham Jr. and the Baltimore Ravens with a hefty one-year deal, $15 million contract.
The Ravens, in a move rumored to have been made to convince QB Lamar Jackson to sign his own extension last spring, signed the veteran wideout even knowing he's been out of the gridiron for more than a year.
Since injuring his knee back on Feb. 2022, OBJ has been battling with injuries and a tough rehab process.
Asked about what convinced him of signing with the Baltimore Ravens instead of ring-chasing with, say, the Kansas City Chiefs, Beckham shared the most honest and wholehearted answer you could have imagined.
Everything started with a call from Ravens' owner Steve Bisciotti, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.
"[Bisciotti] made me feel like somebody wants me to be here (in Baltimore), wants me to be great, wants me to be a part of this team and this organization. And at this point in my life, that’s everything I need — is to be wanted — and that’s pretty much the story for me."- Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens
For someone on the wrong side of 30, with a Super Bowl to his name and a ring in his finger, and with little (if anything) else to accomplish on a football field, Beckham's statement sounds hella honest and true.
OBJ has nothing more to prove to anyone but himself, so for him to find peace in Baltimore, playing football while feeling loved by the organization and valued by his teammates as an equal, probably holds more weight than just trying (and most probably failing) at winning another title elsewhere playing for a superstar-loaded team in the league.
As Beckham told the story, he instantly texted his agent "I want to be a Raven" following his talk to Ravens' owner Bisciotti.
Beckham might not be his absolute best anymore--I mean, who would be coming off a freakish injury taking 18 months of rehabilitation!?--but he should still be one of the most prominent offensive weapons in the Ravens' pass-catching crops along with no. 1 wide receiver Rashod Bateman, rookie Zay Flowers, and elite TE Mark Andrews.
Perhaps Beckham didn't ring-chase by choosing the Ravens, but this team is so stacked that the end of the story might actually feature OBJ inadvertently hoisting another Super Bowl trophy.