Ravens: Odell Beckham Jr. contract gives power back to Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Sunday night could prove to be a turning point in the Baltimore Ravens' 2023 offseason. Huge news broke as the Ravens and veteran free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. agreed to a 1-year deal, ending the wideout's long road back to an NFL franchise.

Beckham, of course, has worked his way back from his second career ACL tear that he suffered in Super Bowl LVI back with the Los Angeles Rams. Beckham went on to see his team hoist the Lombardi, but he's wanted to get back on the field and make it to that stage once more.

Now, he gets his chance in Baltimore, but who will be throwing him the ball? Could it be Lamar Jackson, after everything that has happened over the last month or so?

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti seems to think that Beckham's arrival will help keep Jackson in Baltimore, which would be huge for the franchise. But, at what cost?

Lamar Jackson now has the power back in his hands after the Baltimore Ravens signed Odell Beckham Jr.

The details of Beckham's contract came out almost immediately after the news broke of his signing, and the deal isn't exactly team-friendly.

Beckham will make $15 million guaranteed in 2023, with up to $18 million total. For a veteran wide receiver, not having played football in over a year, that's a lot of money. But, consider a few other facts.

Beckham has never made an All Pro team in nine years since entering the league. He's made the Pro Bowl three times, but hasn't been voted in since 2016. That's seven years since his last leaguewide recognition.

Beckham hasn't caught double-digit touchdowns since that 2016 campaign, either, and has only played one full season since then. For a guy who has not done a whole lot in several years, and has also been notorious for having a bit of a hot head, $15 million guaranteed now looks like a significant overpay. But, it's the name that teams were willing to pay at this point.

Now, if Beckham can prove he's healthy and is truly a game-changing talent, still, then the money will be worth it.

Additionally, Lamar Jackson has to be feeling like he's got the power back at this stage. Looking at the facts, and seeing the Ravens willing to pay up for a guy like Beckham, should give the former MVP some ammunition if he is to negotiate any further.

Jackson simply wants to be paid like Deshaun Watson was paid last year, and he's far more accomplished than Watson, at this point. Watson was paid $230 million guaranteed amidst legal trouble, while Jackson has an MVP in his back pocket and has even set a single-season NFL record.

There isn't a whole lot the Ravens could say, at this point, other than the fact that they just won't pay him what he wants. With Jackson and Beckham having a good relationship, could Baltimore afford to anger their newly-signed receiver?

Of course not.

Thus, the power is right back in Jackson's hands. The Ravens may have completely screwed themselves, while also saving themselves, by signing Beckham on Sunday night. Whether or not they want to pay Jackson, they're going to have to do so now.

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