Odell Beckham Jr.

No Deal Imminent For Odell Beckham Jr.; Rams Still Interested In Reunion

The onset of training camps has brought about another wave of veterans signing new deals, or at least meeting with prospective teams in the hopes of landing a contract. Odell Beckham Jr. is still unlikely to be included in either scenario in the immediate future, but the free agent remains a name worth watching. 

Multiple NFC teams have expressed interest in signing the 29-year-old in recent months, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that he could still have a number of suitors (video link). The Buccaneers expressed interest before signing Julio Jones, and Rapoport “expects” the Packers to still be included among the teams willing to sign him, given the lack of proven options in their re-worked receiving corps.

The landing spot Beckham remains most connected to, though, is Los Angeles. Rapoport adds that the Rams “still have maintained interest” in a reunion as the offseason has progressed. His level of play after joining the team midseason – 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 total games – led to the team expressing optimism about a deal being finalized this offseason. The three-time Pro Bowler has reciprocated that desire, but is still not expected to sign with anyone soon.

As he continues to recover from the torn ACL he suffered in the Super Bowl, Beckham won’t be available to play for several weeks to begin the season. That timeframe allows him to approach free agency without the urgency of healthy players, leaving open the possibility that he remains a free agent well into the campaign. On that point, Rapoport adds that nothing is considered “imminent” with respect to a contract being signed this summer.

The Rams still have Cooper Kupp at the top of their WR depth chart, and added Allen Robinson in free agency. The loss of Robert Woods leaves a starting spot available, though, and with over $8MM available in cap space, the team could afford a modest deal for Beckham. As the pool of available free agents continues to shrink, it will be interesting to watch how his market develops over time.

Cowboys Not Looking To Add Veteran WR

James Washington‘s Jones fracture will force him to miss a portion of the regular season, with October likely looming as his earliest return window. Michael Gallup will also not be ready for Week 1. This certainly looks like it will create an uphill battle for the Cowboys, who began this offseason’s wideout trade rush by dealing away Amari Cooper.

For now, at least, the Cowboys are not considering outside options at the wideout spot. Jerry Jones said he is “plenty satisfied” with the roster depth the team holds at this position, adding there is “no urgency” to acquire a veteran, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Considering where the Cowboys were going into last season, when they trotted out a Cooper-Gallup-CeeDee Lamb trio and Cedrick Wilson as what turned out to be quickly needed insurance, their 2022 outlook seems to warrant additional inspection regarding an outside reinforcement. The team used a third-round pick on South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert and still has sixth-year wideout Noah Brown. Simi Fehoko, a 2021 fifth-rounder, did not catch a pass in five 2021 games.

Tolbert appears to be the early favorite to start opposite Lamb in Week 1, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News adds. The 15th receiver drafted this year, Tolbert posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at the Conference USA school and averaged north of 17 yards per catch in each of his final three college seasons. The 6-foot-3 target’s potential readiness aside, the Cowboys — after trading Cooper to the Browns and letting Wilson defect to the Dolphins in free agency — only have two healthy receivers who have caught an NFL pass. Brown (zero career touchdown receptions) has topped out at 16 catches in a season, doing so in 2021. The team does plan to use backup running back Tony Pollard more as a slot receiver this season. Absent a veteran addition, that experiment suddenly appears more relevant.

The receiver market ballooned in the days and weeks after the Cowboys traded Cooper, who was tied to a mostly nonguaranteed $20MM 2022 salary and $40MM combined from 2023-24. (The Browns have since reworked Cooper’s deal, using void years to drop his 2022 cap hit to $4.9MM.) Dallas dealt the four-time Pro Bowler for fifth- and sixth-round 2022 picks. Cooper’s salaries look quite reasonable within the current wideout landscape, one that has seen 10 players top his contract since the March 12 trade.

Former Cowboy Cole Beasley has spoken with multiple teams, and Will Fuller has begun to generate interest. The oft-injured deep threat, however, is not expected to sign until later this month. That would align with Jones’ current timetable. Emmanuel Sanders and T.Y. Hilton are also available, as is Willie Snead, who was in Texas on Tuesday for a workout with Houston. The Texans signed ex-Colt Chester Rogers from that audition. Odell Beckham Jr. is obviously the biggest prize left around, but his timetable does not align with Dallas’. Beckham is not on track to be ready until at least the midseason point, though Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed notes the former Pro Bowler is believed to be ahead of schedule. Still, OBJ’s return date has been murky for months now. And the Rams continue to loom as the most likely team to land him.

The Cowboys may have Gallup and Washington back by the time Beckham debuts, but the team looks set to face a challenge in the meantime.

Odell Beckham Jr.: I Played Second Half Of 2021 Season “Without An ACL”

Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is recovering from a torn ACL that he ostensibly suffered in Super Bowl LVI in February as a member of the Rams. But on Saturday night, OBJ himself took to Twitter to say that he actually played the entire second half of the 2021 season “without an ACL.”

Beckham initially tore the ACL back in Week 7 of the 2020 campaign, when he was with the Browns. After sitting out the first two games of the 2021 season, he got back on the field for Cleveland in Week 3. He was ultimately waived in November after a turbulent and generally disappointing stay in northeast Ohio, and he signed with Los Angeles a few days after he cleared waivers. So if his claim is accurate, he either reinjured the ACL towards the tail end of his Browns tenure, or towards the beginning of his stint with the Rams.

If it was the former, it would be fair to wonder how OBJ passed his exit physical with Cleveland, or his entry physical with Los Angeles. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes that such physicals rarely include an MRI unless there is a reason for it, and since there were no alarming issues with the knee from Week 3 of the 2021 campaign forward, an MRI may not have been seen as necessary.

One way or another, the ACL gave out in the midst of what was shaping up as a brilliant title game performance. And although there have been plenty of reports about Beckham’s recovery and who his next employer might be since that time, the three-time Pro Bowler remains unsigned.

It seems unlikely that Beckham’s tweet will have much impact on how other teams view him. Regardless of exactly when he reaggravated the ACL injury, the fact remains that he has undergone two major surgeries on his left knee in a span of roughly 15 months, to say nothing of the painful shoulder sprain that he sustained with Cleveland last year or the sports hernia ailment he dealt with in 2019. Plus, despite his undeniable talent, two franchises, the Giants and Browns, have now seen fit to cut ties despite having multiple years of club control over him.

The Rams remain open to a new deal, even though Beckham may be unable to suit up until late November. It is also unclear whether Beckham is targeting a one-year accord, or if he is seeking a multi-year deal from a club that may be willing to wait for him until the latter stages of the 2022 season if it can be assured of having him on the roster in 2023.

The Packers and Patriots have been connected to some degree to OBJ this offseason, but given his current timeline, there is no real urgency for him or for interested teams. Indeed, he may elect to wait until he is closer to full strength to put pen to paper, at which point clubs that may not have a place for him now could find themselves looking for a receiver to provide a late-season boost.

Latest On Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. remains in the unusual position of being one of the most talented free agents still available, yet one without a significant market at the moment. As he continues to recover from a torn ACL, much will depend on his health at the start of the season in determining where he plays in 2022. 

[RELATED: Browns Unlikely To Sign Beckham]

The Rams remain the team most closely linked to the 29-year-old, given his performance late in the regular season and during their Super Bowl run after acquiring him. Since he won’t be available by Week 1 of the upcoming season, though, the team has confirmed that there is a lack of urgency for all parties involved in making a reunion official.

Still, Los Angeles remains “optimistic” that a deal will eventually get done, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Bleacher Report). Given how deep into the fall the three-time Pro Bowler will be upon his return to full health, Fowler adds that Beckham could choose to remain on the open market into the start of the season and “take his time” in making a decision on where to sign. In that event, injuries or other circumstances could bring teams not currently in need of pass-catching help into consideration for him.

The Rams have also prepared themselves for life without Beckham, having signed Allen Robinson to pair with the recently-extended Cooper Kupp. Considering the number of pieces on their roster which will return in 2022, though, they are likely to contend for another Super Bowl, something Fowler states will “likely” be Beckham’s top consideration when deciding where to sign. If he were to go back to L.A., the LSU alum would be well set-up to replicate his impressive performance with Matt Stafford and the Rams’ offense.

Other veteran wideouts, including Julio Jones, remain on the open market, so their ultimate destinations could play a role in determining Beckham’s next NFL home as well. Even after the offseason is complete, though, the question of where he will be suiting up may very well remain unanswered.

Rams COO Optimistic On Odell Beckham Jr. Return; Latest On WR’s ACL Rehab

The Rams continue to be the team most closely connected to Odell Beckham Jr., but a deal does not appear imminent. Both OBJ’s side and the team seem willing to wait, which makes sense due to the talented wide receiver’s ACL recovery timetable.

Rams COO Kevin Demoff said a lack of urgency exists for both the team and the player, though the longtime team exec confirmed what Sean McVay and Les Snead have this offseason: the team wants Beckham back.

With Odell, I think, given the rehab [and] the timeline of coming back probably mid-to-later in the year, I just think that the sense of urgency both from his side and probably from our side — and maybe other teams — is not right there, for him,” Demoff said, via The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue (subscription required).

… Both sides have had open dialogue, both sides [are] respectful, excited and couldn’t be more grateful for what Odell did for our team last year — and the chance to meet him and watch him flourish in L.A.

It is safe to say the ACL tear Beckham suffered during the second quarter of Super Bowl LVI derailed his hopes of landing a lucrative deal this offseason. For a player who has dealt with injuries for much of the past five years, the Super Bowl represented a bittersweet event. Barely a month later, the Rams gave Allen Robinson a three-year, $45MM deal. And they now have Cooper Kupp tied to the most guaranteed money ($75MM) of any wideout. Beyond Browns rumors, which may be dying down, not much has developed on the OBJ front in recent weeks.

Still, Rams bigwigs have consistently spoken about the hope of a second Beckham contract — even after the top-market deals for Kupp and Aaron Donald. The team gained $3MM-plus in cap space from the Donald and Kupp deals; it currently sits with $7.6MM in room.

If we didn’t have a salary cap, we could’ve signed Odell months ago and would’ve loved to,” Demoff said. “Is it a multiyear deal? Is it a one-year deal? All kinds of variables that come into Odell. The one variable that hasn’t changed is how much we love him and want him to be there. I think he’s expressed, over social, his desire to be here.

“Am I optimistic we can get a deal done over time? Yes.”

The lack of urgency comes into play regarding Beckham’s window to return to action. While the 29-year-old pass catcher will not be ready to start the regular season, pointing to a possible PUP-list stay (if OBJ is rostered to start the season), Rodrigue notes it might be longer before he suits up. Beckham’s rehab timetable may point to a late-November return, based on where he was in his rehab earlier this offseason. If his current free agency run comes down to one-year offers, being out until the regular season’s second half is quite relevant.

A multiyear deal — coming from a team that believes Beckham can return at or close to the form he showed down the stretch for the Rams — could benefit said team, tying Beckham down through 2023 or beyond. That would represent a somewhat risky pact, given Beckham’s two ACL tears since November 2020, but it would double as a buy-low opportunity. That said, Beckham might want to ink a 2022-only accord in an effort to make a non-injury-marred run at a lucrative contract in free agency next year.

Browns Unlikely To Bring Back Odell Beckham Jr.

The Browns have gone through internal discussions about re-signing Odell Beckham Jr., and beyond Amari Cooper, the team has an experience void at wide receiver. Through that lens, it is not surprising the team has been connected to veterans.

But Cleveland should be expected to look elsewhere, in the event its wideout need becomes too pressing to ignore. The Browns are unlikely to bring back Beckham, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Although the former Pro Bowler said months ago he was open to the idea of returning to Cleveland, his fit might be clunky. Even with OBJ’s former Browns teammates consistently offering praises, despite last year’s awkward ending to his two-plus-season-season tenure, Beckham was inconsistent in both Freddie Kitchens and Kevin Stefanski‘s offenses and battled injuries for much of his time in Ohio. Some of Beckham’s inconsistency can be blamed on Baker Mayfield, and OBJ’s camp certainly took that route upon forcing the 2021 divorce that led the marquee wideout to Los Angeles. But the Browns’ passing attack has not exactly stabilized.

Deshaun Watson is facing a lengthy suspension; the prospect of another missed season should not be dismissed. That would leave the Browns in limbo, with the team intent on trading Mayfield. And Beckham’s Super Bowl LVI ACL tear — his second such injury in 15 months — is expected to sideline him until at least midseason.

The Rams still want Beckham back. The 29-year-old standout crashed Sean McVay‘s wedding last weekend, doing so after McVay made more comments about eyeing a reunion with the eight-year veteran. Beckham’s NFC championship game and Super Bowl performances had him on track to be one of this year’s highest-paid free agents, but his second-quarter injury closed that avenue. The Rams have Allen Robinson signed to a $15MM-per-year deal, just completed their long-rumored Cooper Kupp raise ($80MM in new money) and have Day 2 picks Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell.

Robinson and Jefferson would seemingly hold down the fort until Beckham returns, should he suit up for the Rams again. But OBJ has been patient for a better offer here. Meanwhile, the Browns have third-year target Donovan Peoples-Jones primed to be Cooper’s top complementary option. Third-round rookie David Bell will be given a chance to fill in alongside that tandem.

Browns Have Discussed Bringing Back Odell Beckham Jr.

Beyond Amari Cooper, the Browns are set to rely on a host of young wide receivers. Despite being linked to re-signing Jarvis Landry, the team has been hesitant to add a veteran here just for the sake of adding experience.

A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. would qualify as something more. Although it would be a strange development for the Browns to bring back Beckham after such a public divorce, the team has discussed this scenario, Armando Salguero of Outkick.com notes. The circumstances have obviously changed, given the team’s bumpy Baker Mayfield-for-Deshaun Watson transition. Of course, Beckham’s health has led to him remaining in free agency into June. The Browns know full well how much injuries have affected the former Giants superstar’s career.

OBJ has torn the same ACL twice in 15 months, the first coming with the Browns, and is not expected to be ready until around the midseason point. Still, Browns players — including Myles Garrett — have made overtures to the talented wideout returning. Beckham, 29, said earlier this offseason he is open to it, despite lobbying to leave Cleveland — and then awkwardly doing so, wrapping a disappointing Browns tenure — last year. Other teams remain in the mix, most notably the Rams.

Sean McVay said in May he still wants Beckham back in his offense, though the Rams giving Allen Robinson a three-year deal worth $45MM and being in negotiations for a Cooper Kupp raise stand to complicate matters financially. Thought to be on his way back to Los Angeles earlier this offseason, Beckham and the Rams’ contract talks did not move the needle for the high-profile receiver, Salguero adds.

Landry has attempted to recruit Beckham to New Orleans, but the Saints have reloaded at receiver. Landry, Michael Thomas and Chris Olave are positioned as the team’s top three here, and although Thomas has become a bigger health risk than Beckham, this is a more crowded depth chart than the Browns appear to have. It would seem Beckham would be more needed in Cleveland, which is set to rely on third-year talent Donovan Peoples-Jones and third-round rookie David Bell alongside Cooper.

The Browns outflank the Rams and Saints in cap space, leading the league by a wide margin at $40MM-plus, but OBJ’s injuries do not present his latest free agency as a true bidding war. Beckham already received his monster payday — coming via the five-year, $90MM deal the Giants authorized in 2018 — but the second ACL tear derailed his hopes at another high-end receiver contract. The NFC playoffs and Super Bowl LVI’s first half displayed OBJ’s talents, but the injury trouble that began in New York may lead to him going year-to-year on the contract front. With his age-30 season on tap, Beckham is nearly out of time to show he can still be a reliable contributor.

Sean McVay Still Eyeing Rams-OBJ Reunion

Despite Odell Beckham Jr. free agency noise quieting in recent weeks, the Rams still have the standout wide receiver in their plans. Sean McVay wants the ninth-year veteran back in his offense.

Beckham finished his first Rams contract on a bittersweet note, tearing an ACL during a Super Bowl he helped the team win. Although the defending champions have added Allen Robinson on a $15.5MM-per-year deal and are prepared to give Cooper Kupp a raise of some sort, another OBJ deal remains the goal.

Oh, of course. I really want Odell back on our team,” McVay said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show (via NFL.com) this weekHe’s a guy that, in a short amount of time, we were able to develop a really special relationship. I thought he brought a great spark to our team. I thought he played really well. He’s a great teammate.

Without a doubt, want to get Odell back here. That’s the goal and continuing to work toward a solution of him re-signing with the Rams.”

Beckham collected $4.75MM from the Rams for a partial season of work and would have been a sought-after free agent had the ACL tear — his second in 15 months — not occurred. But the 29-year-old pass catcher is not expected to be ready to start this season. It might be until late October until OBJ can play again.

Still, he has been connected to the Patriots, Packers and even the Browns this offseason. Rams brass, however, consistently spoke of a reunion back in March. They did not draft a wideout last month. Second-round pick Tutu Atwell, who missed much of his rookie season due to injury, also remains in the picture. But a clear top four of Kupp, Robinson, Beckham and Van Jefferson would represent one of the best wideout quartets in recent memory. It will be interesting if a team needier at wide receiver steps up with a noticeably better offer, but a Beckham return would give the Rams a stacked receiver depth chart that would remind of the one they had for about a day last season — prior to Robert Woods‘ ACL tear.

OBJ alluded to wanting to stay in Los Angeles; money, as could be expected, remains an issue (Twitter links). Holding barely $5MM in cap space, the Rams are near the bottom of the league here. Though, they frequently figure out ways to fit stars onto their payroll. New deals for Kupp and Aaron Donald could carve out more space as well, as they push big cap numbers down the road.

Packers Eyeing Veteran WR Addition?

The initial waves of free agency, as well as the draft, have come and gone but there are still teams looking to add at the receiver position. One of those teams, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, is the Packers. 

When speaking on The Pat McAfee Show, Rapoport predicted that “the Packers are going to be involved in this [receiver] market” (video link). Brand-name players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones and Jarvis Landry are all still available as post-draft free agents, but attention should increasingly be turned towards them in the coming days and weeks. On that point, the latter has recently been named as a target of the Ravens.

Green Bay was able to keep a number of core pieces in place on both sides of the ball this offseason. Two of their most notable departures, though, were of course Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. While they did sign Sammy Watkins in the build-up to the draft, many expected Green Bay to be aggressive in adding further to the position. With the top options off the board by the time of their pair of first-round picks, however, they bolstered their front seven, waiting until Day 2 to trade up for Christian Watson. The following day, Romeo Doubs was selected as well.

Those three join returnees Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers. Sitting towards the bottom of the league in terms of cap space, Green Bay likely wouldn’t be able to win a bidding war for any of the top remaining options; as Rapoport notes, however, the team would represent an attractive destination on a short-term, incentive-laden deal. As they try to keep their Super Bowl window open as long as possible, then, the Packers will likely still remain a team worth watching at the position.

Latest On OBJ’s Recovery, Free Agency

Odell Beckham Jr. is progressing well after sustaining his second ACL tear in a 15-month span, but the former Pro Bowler is not expected to be available to start the 2022 season, Tyler Dragon of USA Today tweets.

This injury has undoubtedly cooled the veteran wide receiver’s market. The Rams are still a possibility for Beckham, per Dragon, who notes multiple teams are still interested. As other teams fill their receiver needs with less injury-prone talents, OBJ remains a free agent.

[RELATED: Rams GM Wants To Re-Sign OBJ]

The 29-year-old receiver being set to miss the start of next season should not surprise. The 2021 season held the NFL’s first mid-February Super Bowl, and roughly seven months stand between the night of Beckham’s latest tear and Week 1. OBJ was not ready for Week 1 following his 2020 tear, which occurred in early November. While the reserve/PUP list may be where this heads, shelving Beckham for six weeks to start the season, it is too early for such predictions.

The Rams make sense for OBJ to a degree, having traded Robert Woods to the Titans. The defending champions have been in talks with Beckham and were linked to being near a re-signing in March. Allen Robinson has since signed with the Rams, and Van Jefferson could conceivably be the team’s other starter alongside Cooper Kupp. The Patriots looked into Beckham as well, but their trade for DeVante Parker reduces the chances of a partnership.