In mid November of 2021, Odell Beckham Jr. was released by the Cleveland Browns and signed to the Los Angeles Rams to a one-year deal. The Patriots, who were reportedly major contenders to land the 3 time Pro Bowler, definitely missed out on a major opportunity to expand the talent and depth at the Receiver position. With Beckham now a Free Agent and potentially not re-signing with the Rams, is this a perfect opportunity for the Patriots to grab the powerful player and change Mac Jones’ game?
What Would OBJ Provide?
It seems like Odell would fill all the holes necessary for the Patriots offense. Plain and simple, the Patriots lack an explosive, unanimous WR1. With Beckham being a consistent 1,000+ yard receiver, his talent and ability to pounce on defenses could transform this young offense.
Beckham’s raw ability to route-run makes up for his average size. His speed, lateral movement, and capability to change a game with one play is not common in the NFL. He would far and away be the best wide receiver to touch the Patriots roster in the last few years.
Odell Beckham Jr. in his Rams attire (via Insider)
What Is Holding The Patriots Back?
In the 2021-2022 season, the Patriots were the only team in the entire NFL who did not have a receiver with a 100+ yard game. Saying that they have a below-average receiving core is an understatement; they lack ball-catchers in every way possible. With a depth chart as bare as it is, you would think that any wide receiver of Beckham’s caliber would be an instant signing. However, it is not as simple as that.
Every report that I have seen about Odell Beckham Jr. and the Patriots is positive; there is absolutely no doubt that the team is interested. But, unlike most cases, I suspect that the lack of movement is not coming from the Patriots; rather, it is likely coming from Odell himself.
Odell’s hesitancy to sign could stem from numerous factors: his ACL tear in the Super Bowl, his past experiences with Free Agency, or maybe even disagreements on contract logistics. Regardless, if the Patriots would like to see Odell on the roster next year they will have to stay heavily involved in talks. Showing heavy interest to free agents is an instant trust-boost, and with a player like this, trust is hard to come by.
How Likely Is A Signing?
A key factor in the OBJ-Patriots relationship is the Devante Parker trade. According to a report from NBC Sports, the Patriots were interested in Beckham prior to the team obtaining Parker via trade. Whether the move to choose Parker over Beckham damaged the relationship between the two is unknown; however, I can’t imagine that the Patriots would be too thrilled to double-dip at the position, something that they haven’t done much of in the past.
If a contract were to be inked with Beckham, the Patriots would have to sign him for >1 year due to the fact that Beckham has an ACL injury and will be limited for his first season with the team. Nonetheless, I can’t imagine that the ACL injury will be a major factor in determining the rest of the contract.
Odell Beckham Jr. celeberating in the Super Bowl (via NJ.com)
If the Patriots were to sign Beckham, the entire team would be changed. Not only would it improve their shot of contending in the stacked AFC East, but it would also help Mac Jones develop into the superstar that he can become. If Belichick were to make a move of this importance then it would change the outlook of this team for years to come.
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