Odell Beckham Jr. release helps Ravens retain veteran backup QB

The Ravens QB room is taking shape

Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens didn't get top-level production out of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last season, as age and attrition have limited him to being likely no better than a No. 3 wide receiver in the eyes of a contending team. The Ravens noticed this and sent him on his way.

In a bit of salary cap gymnastics, the Ravens got rid of Beckham by removing the void years at the end of his deal. He has officially been designated a post-June 1 cut, which will free up more cap space for a Ravens team that has lost multiple offensive line starters and impactful defensive players.

The Ravens' first order of business after letting Beckham go was to bring back one of their own in defensive lineman Brent Urban on a one-year deal. Their next order of business was trying to build up their quarterback room behind Lamar Jackson, inking a known veteran after cutting Beckham loose.

The Ravens agreed to a one-year contract with well-traveled quarterback Josh Johnson. While he likely won't play an on-field role, getting a trusted vet back in the fold for a cheap deal should be a fairly positive development.

Baltimore Ravens sign QB Josh Johnson after Odell Beckham Jr. release

Beckham seemed like a lock to be released, as the signing of Nelson Agholor and vote of confidence for Rashod Bateman made it tough to envision anything more than a WR3 workload. Beckham will likely have some degree of interest from contenders who want to add some juice.

Johnson's third stint with the Ravens last year was his 24th stop in his professional career, including multiple non-conseuctive stops with teams like the Bengals, 49ers, and Jets. Johnson, picked way back in 2008 by the Buccaneers, was in Baltimore in 2021 as a fill-in for an injured Lamar Jackson and sick Tyler Huntley.

The Ravens will likely try to keep the same quarterback room for 2024, with Jackson being backed up by a stylistic facsimile in Huntley (who is also a free agent) while Johnson hangs out as the inactive third quarterback. Johnson, who will turn 38 in May, will continue his utterly unique professional journey.

While the Ravens might get creative to replace Beckham in the wide receiver room, it seems like they aren't taking any chances with the quarterbacks. Jackson, Huntley, and Johnson is a rock-solid group, and letting Beckham go will help facilitate Eric DeCosta running it back.