Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL Injury Updates: Burrow, Richardson, Barkley, Thomas

Bengals fans have been plenty frustrated with the team’s return on investment from quarterback Joe Burrow‘s record-breaking extension. Through two games, Burrow has averaged 152 yards per game while throwing two touchdowns and an interception. People were concerned about the calf injury that forced him out of practice early in training camp this summer and how it would affect him as the season began. Burrow has pointed to that injury as a big reason for some of his early struggles, according to Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network.

Morrison noted that Burrow spoke “with a level of concern” after today’s game when addressing his right calf. He claimed to have tweaked his calf in today’s loss to the Ravens. Not only did he consider it a factor today, and likely last week, but he also thought there was a chance that it could end up being a tight rope that he is forced to walk for the remainder of the season.

It’s not difficult to see that the Burrow we’ve seen so far this year has been far from what we’re used to seeing in recent years. It will be interesting to see how the Bengals move forward with the handling of Burrow’s calf. Pushing him too hard could result in an extended absence, while a short reprieve of a week or two could help him get on top of a recovery that seems to be troubling him. There’s a lot of season left to go, and the Bengals will be keeping a close eye on Burrow in the days and weeks to come.

Here are a few other updates from around the NFL:

  • Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson got off to a hot start in the second game of his NFL career, rushing for two touchdowns early in today’s divisional matchup with the Texans. Richardson had to exit the game in the first half, though, after sustaining a concussion that would hold him out for the remainder of the contest. Richardson was replaced by backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, who helped secure the team’s first win of the season. Richardson will need to go through concussion protocols in order to return to the field. This season, the protocols for return take about five days to get through, meaning Richardson absolutely has a chance to return for Week 3 if he can pass the necessary tests. If not, Minshew will continue to play in relief.
  • Giants running back Saquon Barkley was injured in the final two minutes of today’s win over the Cardinals. He was obviously kept out of the remainder of the game but was visibly upset on the sideline while surrounded by trainers. They taped Barkley’s ankle, but he continued to walk with a significant limp. According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, an x-ray was performed after the game, while Barkley was still experiencing some swelling and discomfort. It has now been reported as a sprained ankle, according to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, meaning New York may have dodged a giant bullet, forgive the pun. While this bodes well for Barkley’s season-long prospects, the short week will not be his friend. Expect the Giants to exercise caution and, barring a miracle recovery, hold Barkley out for their Thursday night matchup against the 49ers. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Barkley will undergo an MRI tomorrow in order to determine the severity of the injury and gain an idea of just how much time he may miss.
  • Joining Richardson above, Commanders tight end Logan Thomas left the team’s win over the Broncos today with a concussion that he sustained after getting clobbered over the middle by Denver safety Kareem Jackson. Jackson was ejected for the hit. Backup tight ends John Bates and Cole Turner both got significant run in Thomas’ absence and will continue to do so if he isn’t able to return next week.
  • Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (knee), Cowboys right guard Zack Martin (ankle), and Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) all sustained injuries today that kept them out of their respective games. Reports from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Jane Slater and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tell us that none of these injuries are considered serious.

Odell Beckham Jr: “I’m Thinking Like This Is My Last Year”

Throughout 2022, a recurring storyline around the league was the future of Odell Beckham Jr. The former Pro Bowl wideout’s free agent period lasted all the way into the offseason, but he ultimately signed with the Ravens.

That one-year deal includes $15MM in guaranteed money – a far higher figure than what any team appeared willing to pay. The 30-year-old will receive plenty of attention given the lucrative nature of his pact and the injury concerns which surround him. There will also be questions raised, however, regarding his long-term future in Baltimore of anywhere else in the NFL.

“I’m thinking like this is my last year,” Beckham said in an interview with The Athletic’s Dan Pompei (subscription required). “I’m going to give it my all this year. And then if something happens after that, we can go from there.”

The three-time Pro Bowler missed the entire 2022 season while rehabbing an ACL tear he suffered during the Rams’ Super Bowl victory. Beckham drew interest from a number of suitors, though it seemed inevitable for much of the year that he would re-sign in Los Angeles. A Cowboys deal was mentioned frequently by Jerry Jones, and a reunion with the Giants was on the latter team’s radar. Pompei adds that the Chiefs and Bills – teams which were also named early and often as DeAndre Hopkins suitors – contacted Beckham.

The LSU alum admitted that he was “resistant” at first to the idea of signing in Baltimore. The Ravens certainly do not have a sterling track record with respect to receiver production and passing volume on offense, though many of the team’s most successful wideouts have been 30-something veterans acquired for the short term. Lobbying from quarterback Lamar Jackson helped convince Beckham to join what has become a much different looking Ravens receiving corps this offseason.

As Pompei notes, owner Steve Bisciotti also took personal interest in recruiting Beckham. His efforts helped finalize a deal which will allow the former Rookie of the Year to attempt to complete a first full season since 2019. That year also represents the last time he reached 1,000 yards, and a return to that form (or anything near it) would help give Baltimore a veteran pass-catching presence as the team leans on top 2021 selection Rashod Bateman and first-round rookie Zay Flowers at the WR position.

A strong showing would, of course, also boost Beckham’s free agent market if he decides to continue his career. Multi-year offers could come his way depending on his 2023 performance, but for now his Baltimore tenure could represent the final chapter of his eight-year NFL run.

Lamar Jackson, Eric DeCosta Address Ravens Extension, Other Teams’ Interest, WR Moves

One of the NFL’s longest extension journeys ended earlier Thursday, with Lamar Jackson signing his five-year Ravens contract. Jackson agreed to a $52MM-per-year accord, making him — in terms of average salary — the NFL’s highest-paid player.

This concluded a strange process, one that featured the quarterback operating without an agent. Jackson requested a trade and announced this publicly, indicating he informed the Ravens he wanted out in early March. No team is believed to have expressed serious interest, though Jackson said (via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley) he did hear from clubs during his period on the franchise tag. After it became clear Jackson’s hope of a Deshaun Watson-level guarantee at signing would not come to pass, he inked the five-year, $260MM Ravens deal.

Although Jackson requested a trade, he declined to say what changed between then and his signing. While the Jalen Hurts $51MM-AAV contract would be the most obvious development between those two points, Jackson said the Eagles quarterback’s extension did not affect his. Jackson also curiously said (via NFL.com’s Sherree Burress) he was not interested in other teams’ overtures, pointing out — trade request notwithstanding — he always wanted to be a Raven.

Jackson was connected to nearly half the league this offseason, but an unexpected number of teams made it clear they were not pursuing the former MVP. The lack of genuine interest — at least, at Jackson’s long-reported price point — did surprise Ravens GM Eric DeCosta, who placed the nonexclusive franchise tag ($32.4MM) on the sixth-year quarterback in March.

Was I surprised? Probably a little bit, but in the end, every team has to look at who they are, how they’re built, what’s important to them,” DeCosta said, via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “I always feel like one of the advantages to free agency is when you have a guy on your team, you know exactly who he is, you know how he’s wired, you know what’s important to him. Other teams don’t know that, you know?

Through either early reports or direct denials of a pursuit, the Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, Colts, Texans, Titans, Commanders, Lions, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Seahawks were linked to being against going after Jackson. The Raiders instead signed Jimmy Garoppolo to replace Derek Carr, who signed with the Saints ahead of unrestricted free agency. Jackson said Thursday he will continue to represent himself, though he noted (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec) agents did court him this offseason.

A player of Jackson’s abilities being available at 26 would seemingly have enticed QB-needy teams, but a few spoke out against the lofty guarantee Jackson was reported to be seeking. After Hurts’ deal followed other post-Watson QB accords in being far from fully guaranteed, the Ravens finalized their Jackson re-up. Still, the AFC North team was prepared to match almost any offer that emerged.

We respected his position and his feelings, but we were still having a tougher time,” DeCosta said, via Florio, of the Jackson talks. “But in the end, we felt like our deal, that the deals that we had made, we felt they were credible deals, we felt they were strong deals, and we felt like we were in a position to, not that we could match every single deal, but we felt like we would be able to match most deals and that if a team were willing to do a deal that we couldn’t match would be very hard for that team to do that type of deal. Not impossible, but very difficult.”

Jackson’s full contract numbers have not surfaced, but CBS Sports’ Joel Corry reports the extension comes with a record-setting $72.5MM signing bonus, which breaks Dak Prescott‘s previous standard. The contract comes with $80MM in 2023, Florio tweets, adding the first three years are guaranteed. This deal also includes a no-trade clause and a clause that prevents a 2028 franchise tag, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones adds.

Russell Wilson‘s $124MM still represents the NFL’s second-highest full guarantee, with teams successfully managing to make Watson’s Browns pact a leverage-based outlier. Considering how much full guarantees came up during the Jackson negotiations, it will be interesting to see how close to Watson the three-time Pro Bowler landed here.

The Ravens have added Odell Beckham Jr. and first-rounder Zay Flowers to their receiving corps. While DeCosta also said (via Florio) he had probably done a poor job of assembling a quality receiving corps around his run-oriented QB, Jackson said he did not mandate the team sign OBJ and trade for DeAndre Hopkins. Linked to making such a request, Jackson confirmed (via Zrebiec) he asked DeCosta if the team had room for the wideouts. Even as his trade request still stood, Jackson helped recruit Beckham to Baltimore.

Jackson plans to report to Ravens OTAs at some point and said (via CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson) he began to feel all the way back from his PCL injury in April. After reports indicated Jackson would be back well before season’s end, the Ravens kept ruling out their QB — to the point it became a controversial topic. Jackson has failed to complete each of the past two seasons, inviting questions about his durability and how his play style would hold up in the long run. Some connected the longer-than-expected absence to Jackson’s contract uncertainty. With this in the past, via Jackson receiving full clearance to return, the 2018 first-rounder has spoken with new Baltimore OC Todd Monken.

With this rather eventful piece of business behind them, the Ravens will try and build a playoff team in a conference that has gained strength this offseason. Jackson will obviously be the top determinant in Baltimore being able to qualify for a fifth postseason bracket in six years.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Browns, Awuzie

Allen Robinson passing his physical will send him to a fourth NFL team. The Rams will assume much of Robinson’s 2023 payout — as a result of the three-year, $46.5MM deal they authorized in 2022 — and could only offload that contract for a 17-spot jump in the seventh round. The Steelers adjusted Robinson’s contract further before the trade became official, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicating (via Twitter) the wide receiver will collect a $3.84MM signing bonus from his new team. That will help reduce his cap hit. As for 2024, Rapoport adds Robinson’s base salary will drop from $15MM to $10MM. Two void years are also present on Robinson’s Steelers deal, per OverTheCap, which indicates the 10th-year veteran will be tied to a $5MM cap number this year and a $10MM hit in 2024. While Robinson’s $5MM 2023 salary is locked in, nothing is guaranteed for 2024.

The Steelers sought an experienced option at receiver, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, due to second-year players George Pickens and Calvin Austin being expected to play significant roles in 2023 (Twitter link). Robinson will join Diontae Johnson, who is going into his fifth season, as veteran options. This might lead to the Steelers addressing other positions with their Day 2 draft capital; the team has taken eight wideouts on the draft’s second day since 2013.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Four years after working together on a dysfunctional Browns team, Odell Beckham Jr. and Todd Monken reunited with the Ravens. Beckham said he and the recently hired Baltimore OC have a great relationship. In 2019, however, Monken served as a non-play-calling OC under Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after one season. Midway through that disappointing Browns slate, cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot notes Beckham initiated a clear-the-air meeting with Monken in an effort to move parties onto the same page. Browns wideouts perceived Kitchens and the team’s QBs at the time to be “cliquey,” and the disconnect led to shouting matches between wideouts and coaches. The Browns disbanded the Beckham-Baker Mayfield partnership midway through the 2021 season. Although Monken ran the offensive meetings during the week in 2019, Cabot adds the future Georgia staffer did not have much play-calling input. The Ravens will count on Monken, who now has a third NFL OC opportunity, and OBJ to elevate their offense next season.
  • Amari Cooper may miss some offseason time due to a core surgery he underwent this offseason. Cooper did not miss any games last season, but Cabot adds he underwent this procedure in February. Kevin Stefanski said the team will not rush Cooper back, so it stands to reason the ninth-year wideout may not be a full OTAs participant. Cooper, 28, put together his sixth 1,000-yard season in 2022; two years remain on his Cowboys-constructed contract.
  • It might take a bit longer for Chidobe Awuzie to return to work with the Bengals. The veteran cornerback suffered a torn ACL during a Halloween matchup against the Browns. He is targeting a return by Week 1, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. The Bengals no longer have Eli Apple under contract, but they signed Sidney Jones in free agency. Jones joins Mike Hilton and Cam Taylor-Britt as the top healthy Bengal corners. One season remains on Awuzie’s deal.
  • While the Steelers gave Bud Dupree a physical, Dulac notes the former Pittsburgh first-rounder’s free agency visit did not include contract talks. Dupree, who played for the Steelers from 2015-20, signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Falcons last week. A number of veteran edge rushers — Yannick Ngakoue, Frank Clark, Leonard Floyd and Jadeveon Clowney among them — remain unsigned. The Steelers will likely be seeking a low-cost option to be their third edge rusher behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Malik Reed held that role last year; Reed has since joined the Dolphins.

Latest On Odell Beckham Jr., Lamar Jackson

The Ravens held newly signed wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.‘s introductory press conference today, in which Beckham spoke for nearly 40 minutes on what brought him to Baltimore, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. During Beckham’s introduction to Charm City, the media even got a short update on the situation surrounding quarterback Lamar Jackson from both Beckham and general manager Eric DeCosta.

The biggest headline from Beckham pertained to the former MVP as Beckham confirmed that he had received no assurances that Jackson would be back at quarterback. Beckham told reporters that “the goal was to come (to Baltimore) and have that possibility to play with (Jackson).” He said he would let DeCosta take care of business but made sure to stare straight down the cameras and say, “Lamar, if you’re watching, I would love to get to work with you.”

Beckham spoke to the other factors that lured him to Baltimore, citing team owner Steve Bisciotti as having played a big role. Bisciotti reportedly reached out to Beckham and said all the right things. Between Bisciotti, his former offensive coordinator Todd Monken, and some recruitment from Jackson and other players, Beckham claims it wasn’t money that drew him to the Ravens but a true belief from both parties that he was a piece that could help them win.

Lastly, Beckham discussed perhaps the biggest item of concern for the upcoming season: his health. After sitting out all of the 2022 season due to his ACL injuries, Beckham was hesitant to commit to attending organized team activities this offseason, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports. He minimized the importance of OTAs, indicating that his main focus was returning to the field on Sundays.

Pertaining to Beckham’s performance on Sundays, we finally have some details on the $3MM of incentives in his new deal. According to Florio, Beckham can earn an extra $1MM for each of three categories: receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. For receptions, the incentive progresses as follows: $250,000 for 30 receptions, $500,000 for 40, $750,000 for 50, and $1MM for 60. For receiving yards, the incentive progresses as follows: $250,000 for 250 yards, $500,000 for 500, $750,000 for 750, and $1MM for 1,000. For receiving touchdowns, the incentive progresses as follows: $250,000 for three touchdowns, $500,000 for five, $750,000 for seven, and $1MM if he catches nine scores or leads the team in receiving touchdowns.

We got some comments from DeCosta, as well, in the press conference today. The fifth-year general manager explained that the team had been in talks with Beckham since last October. The team sent assistant wide receivers coach Keith Williams to Beckham’s workout in March and talked to Beckham at the owners’ meetings in Arizona.

“This was the guy that we felt could help take us to the next level,” DeCosta told the media. “We’ve had lots of players come back from this type of injury and flourish over time.” He continued, “We went into it knowing we were the underdogs (to the Jets), and…sometimes the underdog wins.”

In reference to Jackson, DeCosta claimed that he hadn’t spoken with the quarterback since signing Beckham but has communicated with Jackson since his trade request and franchise tagging, declining to relay any details.

“Lamar’s in our plans; we love Lamar,” DeCosta said. “Our feelings about Lamar have not changed one bit since the end of the season. We’re hopeful still that we’ll get a long-term deal done. He’s the right player for this team to lead us to where we want to be. I think the locker room knows that, the organization knows that. I think the fan base knows that. So it’s ongoing. But I can’t think of a situation where we wouldn’t think that our best team is with Lamar Jackson on the team in September.”

Even past Jackson’s participation in the recruitment of Beckham to Baltimore, Jackson and Beckham further commingled after the Ravens signed Beckham on Sunday night. The two went out to dinner together in Miami before being seen at a club later that night. Many viewed Beckham’s addition to the team as a positive step towards Jackson’s return to the Ravens. While that hasn’t been guaranteed, Beckham sure hopes he has Jackson throwing passes to him in 2023.

Lamar Jackson Helped Recruit Odell Beckham Jr. To Ravens

While no official word has come out regarding Lamar Jackson withdrawing his trade request, Sunday night provided an interesting indication regarding the former MVP’s expectations on this front. Odell Beckham Jr. passed on a potential partnership with Aaron Rodgers — after doing so in 2021 as well — to play for a Ravens team not on great terms with its quarterback.

Beckham probably has a good idea who Baltimore’s 2023 starter will be. Jackson actively recruited the eight-year veteran wideout to Maryland, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (video link). An understanding exists, upon Beckham signing, it will likely be Jackson targeting him next season.

Although an offer sheet — potentially one after the draft — could shake up this situation, no team has made any indications it will consider that expensive path. Jackson continues to seek Deshaun Watson-level guarantees, which has thus far been a non-starter. As it stands now, Jackson should be expected to remain with the Ravens in 2023. How this OBJ addition came together — just before the longstanding free agent was to visit the Jets — lends more weight to Jackson realizing he is unlikely to change teams this year.

Only three players (Le’Veon Bell, Dan Williams, Sean Gilbert) have ever skipped a season while on a franchise tag. Jackson’s tag price ($32.4MM) is in another financial stratosphere compared to those players’ compensation. His unpredictable odyssey since becoming extension-eligible in January 2021 aside, the sixth-year passer should never have been viewed as a legitimate candidate to sit out a season. The Ravens have now given Jackson his highest-profile wideout.

Baltimore pursued DeAndre Hopkins and Courtland Sutton in trades, and the team should not be considered out of the mix to further add to its receiver mix early in the draft. Baltimore, which also signed Nelson Agholor to a lower-cost deal, has done extensive homework on this year’s top-graded wide receivers. Jordan Addison and Quentin Johnston have visited the team, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba will do so. The Ravens have used first-round picks on receivers in 2019 (Marquise Brown) and 2021 (Rashod Bateman). The draft has been the primary avenue for this run-heavy team to bolster its receiving corps, but the $15MM guarantee given to Beckham — one that appears much higher than the Giants or Jets were proposing — finally lured a marquee free agent.

Beckham, Bateman, Agholor and Devin Duvernay represent the top Ravens receivers. Three of these players missed all or part of last season due to major injuries. Beckham, of course, sat out the 2022 season due to his Super Bowl LVI ACL tear. Bateman missed much of the campaign due to a broken foot; a Duvernay foot injury ended his season in Week 15.

The Ravens have until July 17 to extend Jackson, who will otherwise be attached to the tag salary. Baltimore could trade Jackson after that date, leading to the three-time Pro Bowler playing for another team on the tag. But scant indications have come out the Ravens are planning to go elsewhere. The Ravens are hosting Anthony Richardson next week, Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com tweets, and may be looking into other quarterbacks in the draft, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. GM Eric DeCosta left the door open to a first-round passer being in play, but the Beckham addition makes that already-unlikely scenario less realistic.

Latest On Odell Beckham Jr. Deal

The Ravens provided the league with a major headline yesterday with the signing of Odell Beckham Jr. The value of his deal – up to $18MM via incentives on the one-year pact – has raised many eyebrows, considering the lack of competition Baltimore appeared to have regarding such a lucrative offer.

Beckham’s base compensation will be $15MM this season, a cumbersome figure for a Ravens team which remains unsure if they will have franchise-tagged quarterback Lamar Jackson this season, and if he will be on the books on the tag or a long-term deal. Given the team’s tight (and relatively uncertain) cap situation, carrying the full cost of the Beckham deal in 2023 would be highly problematic.

As a result, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes that the contract will surely include void years (subscription required). Taking that route – one which the Ravens have begun recently in some of their other deals – would allow the team to spread out Beckham’s cap hit over several years. While it would create significant dead money down the road, it would lessen the impact on Baltimore’s cap sheet for this season, one in which a definitive answer to the question of Jackson’s financial future is all-but guaranteed to be found.

A contract including void years was also long contemplated by the Jets, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson (video link). Beckham was scheduled to visit the Jets today, which could have led to a deal being agreed upon shortly thereafter, especially if all parties were convinced an Aaron Rodgers trade will take place at some point this offseason. They do not appear to have been willing to reach the level the Ravens did with any potential offer, though.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that New York was eyeing a Beckham deal featuring a low base salary and high upside through incentives – essentially the inverse of what the three-time Pro-Bowler landed in Baltimore. The Jets had been considered the frontrunners to land Beckham, 30, given Rodgers’ desire to team up with him in the Big Apple, but it was reported in the immediate aftermath of the Ravens accord that they had chosen not to match what Baltimore put on the table.

The same is true of the Giants, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (Twitter link). Incentives would have been central to any offer for a reunion with Beckham, given the team’s new financial commitments to Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley in particular, and the uncertainty which surrounds Beckham’s ability to produce coming off multiple ACL injuries. In the end, Baltimore’s efforts to pursue the former first-rounder (which dated back to last season to an extent, and continued throughout his 2023 free agent process) stood out against those of other teams.

Anderson tweets that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was a central figure in the team’s push to land Beckham. Baltimore has a long-standing reputation for failing to attract high-profile wideouts, and this latest move represents a sizeable financial investment which carries significant risk. Regardless of what effect it has on Jackson, it could prove to be a beneficial one for the team’s offense, or a misstep which ends up confirming the lack of interest showed elsewhere in the NFL to make such a notable commitment.

Odell Beckham Jr. To Sign With Ravens

Odell Beckham Jr. has made his decision on where he will play next, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The star free agent will be catching passes in Baltimore next season as a member of the Ravens, news he hinted at on his own Instagram account.

The three-time Pro Bowler has agreed to a one-year deal reportedly worth up to $18MM with $15MM guaranteed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero provided a further breakdown that shows the guaranteed amount to be composed of a $13.84MM signing bonus and a base salary of $1.17MM, making up the exact amount Beckham requested at the league’s recent owners’ meetings in Arizona. The remaining $3MM of potential worth in the contract comes in the form of incentives.

Most reports seemed to have Beckham’s decision narrowed down to the Jets and Ravens with many believing New York to be the favorite to land the veteran’s services. Baltimore had reportedly submitted an offer to Beckham earlier in the week, the first of many teams expected to vie for his services. The Jets, on the other hand, decided to take one more big swing at the free agent with a visit that was set to take place this evening. Despite those plans, the Ravens secured Beckham before he had a chance to revisit the Jets.

New York’s meeting this weekend was intended to be an incredibly deep dive on the potential of Beckham joining the team. They had planned a multi-faceted approach that would not only include “a physical but also a thorough discussion of what to expect in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense with a deep WR room,” according to Rapoport. The team was set to return last year’s top receivers, Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis, while adding Rodgers’s favorite target from last year, Allen Lazard, and versatile former Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman. Many of these efforts have been made under the continuing expectation that Rodgers will be quarterbacking the team in 2023 as the result of a trade that has yet to materialize. Beckham reportedly gave the Jets one last chance to match Baltimore’s offer, according to Julia Stumbaugh of Bleacher Report, but New York balked at the high price tag.

The Ravens have their own questions at the quarterback position as they continue to deal with the situation surrounding Lamar Jackson, who reportedly requested a trade from Baltimore early last month. The saga with Jackson has gone on for some time now after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on an extension. The team franchise tagged Jackson, allowing him to negotiate with other teams, but nothing ever resulted from Jackson’s supposed availability. Rapoport recently gave his opinion on the Pat McAfee Show that the situation would end rather anticlimactically with Jackson playing out the 2023 season on the franchise tag in Baltimore as the two sides continue to negotiate. Now, the Ravens have made a move that only emphasizes their desire to retain their star quarterback.

If Jackson returns, he will be throwing to a new-look wide receiving corps led by Beckham, Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and Nelson Agholor. Bateman showed promise to begin his sophomore season before a Lisfranc issue ended his year. Duvernay, fresh off All-Pro returning honors in 2021, had his best offensive season to date last year, finishing as the second most productive receiver in Baltimore last season behind Demarcus Robinson. The team’s receiver room also includes James Proche, Tylan Wallace, Andy Isabella, Shemar Bridges, and Mike Thomas.

Beckham’s road back to the Super Bowl starts now. The 30-year-old played out his rookie contract with the Giants then spent two and a half seasons with the Browns before winning a Super Bowl ring with the Rams. Unfortunately for Beckham, he didn’t get to finish Los Angeles’s Super Bowl victory, leaving the game in the second quarter with a newly torn ACL that would keep him recovering for all of the offseason. It appeared likely that a few teams may take a swing at Beckham as a potential addition for a playoff run, but nothing developed from those conversations last season. Instead, Beckham sat out the entire 2022 season as his free agency extended in to 2023.

Now, though, Beckham has found his newest home, signing with a franchise that has seen plenty of success in signing veteran free agent wide receivers such as Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith, and Mike Wallace. He’ll see both the Rams and Browns in 2023 and will have the chance to play his old team in Cleveland twice a year for however long he is a member of the Ravens.

Jets To Meet With Odell Beckham Jr.

Taking his time during his latest go-round in free agency, Odell Beckham Jr. has received multiple offers. And the standout wide receiver has been most closely tied to the Jets, with Aaron Rodgers leading the charge to bring Beckham back to the Big Apple.

The Jets will take a closer look at OBJ soon. The eight-year veteran will head back to New York on Sunday night for a Monday visit, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports (on Twitter). Beckham spoke with teams — including the Jets — at last week’s league meetings, but this is believed to be his first free agency visit this year.

[RELATED: Joe Douglas Proclaims Confidence In Rodgers Trade]

This visit will involve a physical, SNY’s Connor Hughes tweets. Considering the 30-year-old pass catcher’s career stalled because the February 2022 ACL tear was his second in 16 months, the physical will be a critical part of this meeting. The sides have been discussing this visit for around three weeks, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini adds (on Twitter). Strong mutual interest exists here, Cimini tweets. Discussion on Beckham’s fit in a Rodgers-led offense — one that houses Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson as the wide receiver centerpiece — will also understandably be part of this visit, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

Beckham’s 2022 crested with a three-visit December, but contract demands and the ACL tear sustained in Super Bowl LVI led to the former Giants Pro Bowler sitting out the season. The Jets were nowhere near the Beckham radar during his 2021 in-season free agency trip or his 2022 tour, but with Rodgers on track to be traded to the New York, the team with the league’s longest playoff drought may well be leading the latest OBJ sweepstakes.

Sunday will mark Beckham’s second official visit in New York since December. The Giants met with their former draftee at that point, and although OBJ gave his former team the first visit of that December tour, he met with the Bills and Cowboys as well. Dallas quickly became the clubhouse leader, with Jerry Jones leading the charge and publicly proclaiming Beckham would be a Cowboy. That did not happen, and Dallas has since traded for Brandin Cooks.

The Giants are still lurking here. John Mara indicated the door remains open despite Big Blue re-signing Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard and adding Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder to its receiver mix. Rams brass also said OBJ returning to L.A. is a possibility, but after the 2022 offseason produced nonstop Beckham-Rams connections, the team’s conservative 2023 offseason has not produced nearly as many rumors on that front. The Ravens have made Beckham an offer, but it might be difficult for the three-time Pro Bowler to commit presently, given the uncertainty surrounding Baltimore’s quarterback situation. The Chiefs have also re-emerged on the Beckham radar, but the Jets continue to reside front and center in this pursuit.

While the Jets do not have their presumptive starting QB on the roster yet, Rodgers has long been expected to be traded to the AFC East squad. The Jets have been chasing Beckham for weeks, with Rodgers encouraging the team to sign the player the Packers pursued in 2021. The Jets have been busy at receiver ahead of this visit, signing Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman and trading Elijah Moore to the Browns. If Beckham is to become a Jet, Corey Davis is likely to be released.

Beckham joining the Jets would give them an interesting receiver quartet, one that would feature three new pieces alongside Wilson. The Jets being perhaps in pole position in this derby continues an unusual offseason for the downtrodden club, but the impending Rodgers trade has understandably coincided with splashy additions elsewhere. Lazard, Hardman and safety Chuck Clark are now in the fold. Numbers will play the lead role in closing this elusive deal. Beckham has been vocal about his annoyance with previous offers. Long connected to a $20MM-per-year ask, OBJ denied that is his price. But he clearly wants considerably more than what teams have proposed.

The Super Bowl injury crushed his 2022 market. That coupled with the October 2020 tear has undoubtedly cooled his 2023 prospects as well. The Jets hold just more than $9MM in cap space, though their QB1 contract is not yet on the roster. A Davis cut would also save Gang Green $10.5MM. Should Beckham’s health check out, however, a notable Jets offer will likely not be far behind.

Ravens Submit Offer To Odell Beckham Jr.

As free agency continues into April, plenty of attention continues to be aimed at Odell Beckham Jr. The list of potential destinations for the three-time Pro Bowl wideout appears to be shrinking, and at least one team has now put a contract on the table.

The Ravens have submitted an offer to Beckham, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (video link). No terms are available, but Beckham was connected yesterday to an asking price of $15MM on a one-year deal, a figure which would come as a surprise for a number of reasons, from his injury history (including missing the entire 2022 campaign) to the underwhelming nature of this year’s receiver market.

Indeed, veteran reporter Mike Giardi notes (on Twitter) that Beckham’s cost to his next team appears to have dropped. He adds, however, that his asking price remains untenable given the uncertainty surrounding his ability to produce following multiple ACL tears. Nevertheless, it comes as no surprise that the Ravens are among the teams seriously courting the 30-year-old.

Baltimore was reported as one of a handful of teams who met with Beckham when a midseason signing seemed to still be possible. More recently, they were among the attendees at his private workout, and spoke with him at the league meetings in Arizona. The Ravens have been linked to a number of potential noteworthy moves at the WR position, following another season in 2022 in which the team produced underwhelming numbers in the passing game.

Part of that was due to the season-ending injuries suffered by Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay, the team’s top options at the position. Baltimore has added veteran Nelson Agholor on a one-year deal, but that certainly doesn’t preclude further additions being made. The Ravens have been mentioned as a suitor for not only Beckham, but also the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and Courtland Sutton on the trade front. Any moves to augment Baltimore’s pass-catching corps are thought to be made regardless of the future of quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Schefter names the Jets and Rams as other teams firmly in the mix to ultimately sign Beckham. The former squad has been increasingly connected to Beckham given their (presumed) acquisition of Aaron Rodgers and his list of desired targets upon arrival in New York. Beckham’s reaction to the Baltimore offer could mark the next turning point in his decision-making process.