NFL free agency is well underway. Odell Beckham Jr. missed the entire 2022 season after tearing his ACL in the Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl victory. Since the middle of last season, rumors have been swirling about where Beckham might sign. Recently, they’ve been heating up even more. So, which teams have been linked to Beckham?
Odell Beckham Jr. Free Agency Rumors
Each free agent class is different, having its own strengths and weaknesses. This year’s class is one of the weakest at wide receiver in recent memory. As a result, a 30-year-old Beckham with several previous serious injuries is a highly coveted receiver.
Beckham entered free agency as the top-ranked wide receiver in our Top 100 NFL Free Agents list. Combine that with a rookie WR class that pales in comparison to last year’s, and we could see Beckham get a pretty nice multi-year deal.
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Beckham is such an interesting wide receiver. He’s undoubtedly one of the most talented wide receivers of the past decade. He started his career with three straight 1,300-yard, double-digit-touchdown seasons. That was also a decade ago.
The reality is it’s been five years since Beckham was last an elite wide receiver. He certainly looked like he could still make an impact during his time with the Rams, but then he tore his ACL for the second time. Serious knee injuries are difficult enough to overcome for young players. Beckham is 30.
With all that said, Beckham has had no shortage of suitors during his lengthy time as a free agent. Multiple teams sent scouts to his recent workout. Let’s examine the teams rumored to be in on signing Beckham.
Beckham Has Been Linked to the Cowboys Since Mid-2022
It’s no secret the Cowboys are in need of a wide receiver. CeeDee Lamb is fantastic, but Michael Gallup was ineffective as the team’s WR2 last year. Noah Brown was a nice surprise, but he’s now with the other Texas team.
While I’d love to see what former USFL MVP Kavontae Turpin could do at wide receiver, his role on the Cowboys has exclusively been special teams. He was a Pro Bowl kick returner last season.
The Cowboys were linked to Beckham all throughout the 2022 season. Unfortunately, given the timing of Beckham’s ACL tear, he just wasn’t ready to play.
After things quieted down for a few months, the commencement of the 2023 free agency period started the rumor mill up once again.
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The Score’s Jordan Schultz reported that “Beckham has had positive discussions with the Cowboys. There are several teams interested, but Dallas would like to make it work. I’m told OBJ is seeking a multi-year contract.”
Following maneuvers like reworking Dak Prescott’s contract and releasing Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys actually have the sixth-most salary cap space remaining.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that Beckham is still seeking around $20 million a year. Given that we just saw Jakobi Meyers and JuJu Smith-Schuster get essentially three years and $33 million, it’s reasonable to expect Beckham to command more than that. However, $20 million a year for 2-3 seasons seems a bit ambitious.
Nevertheless, with so many of the top receivers gone in what was already a weak free agent class, Beckham should be able to get $16-18 million a year.
Aaron Rodgers Listed Beckham as a Player He’d Like the Jets To Sign
It’s no secret that Aaron Rodgers likes to play with his friends. Last season, he forced the Packers to trade for a completely washed Randall Cobb just because he wanted him on the team.
Reportedly, Rodgers released a “wish list” of players he wanted the Jets to go after in free agency. With Rodgers so heavily rumored to be going to the Jets, they appeared to take him up on his offer, inking Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million deal.
Also included on Rodgers’ list was Beckham. While the Jets don’t have a dire need at wide receiver, I maintain Lazard is more of a WR3/4 at the NFL level than a WR2.
Add in the fact that many people, myself included, expect Elijah Moore to be part of the Rodgers trade package. Plus, the Jets could stand to upgrade from Corey Davis — if they retain him. Even Braxton Berrios is gone.
Beckham would serve as a solid complement to Garrett Wilson as he did for Cooper Kupp two seasons ago. A wide receiver trio of Wilson, Beckham, and Lazard is quite formidable.
The Cowboys remain the favorite to sign Beckham, but it wouldn’t be surprising in the least if he linked up with Rodgers on the Jets.
Ravens and Chiefs Beckham Rumors Are Also Heating Up
Last year, the Ravens were linked to just about every free agent wide receiver at some point. Understandably so, as they’ve completely ignored the position for most of their existence.
Beckham was also rumored to be possibly signing with the Chiefs for their Super Bowl run. Had he been able to recover quicker, perhaps we’d be talking about Beckham as a back-to-back Super Bowl champion with two different teams.
On Wednesday, the always-dialed-in Schultz tweeted, “Add the Ravens and Chiefs to the list of teams showing interest in Odell Beckham Jr., per sources. A couple more potentially as well, while the Cowboys also remain interested.”
In 2023, the Chiefs and Ravens are both still in need of wide receiver help. Kansas City managed to obtain the ultimate prize despite losing Tyreek Hill and not replacing him with anyone even close to being an NFL WR1. But they certainly would do well to add to the position.
Even at 30 years old, Beckham would immediately be their best wide receiver. As of now, they’re looking like a starting trio of Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Justin Watson. Patrick Mahomes is a wizard, but asking him to do it again with one of the weakest WR corps in the NFL is not ideal.
As for Baltimore, can they get Lamar Jackson some help? Yes, I’m not even entertaining the notion that their starting quarterback will be anyone else. But it really doesn’t matter who the quarterback is — having talented wide receivers matters.
The Ravens have a reliable possession WR1 in Rashod Bateman. But they quite literally do not roster a true WR2. Devin Duvernay and Demarcus Robinson are WR3/4s. Beckham may not be the elite talent he once was, but he would be a significant upgrade on what the Ravens had last season.
Other Teams Rumored To Be Interested in Signing Beckham
It’s ironic that the Cowboys and Jets are the top two teams linked to Beckham, given that neither team sent a representative to Beckham’s Arizona workout.
The teams that did send someone were: The Giants, Rams, Patriots, Panthers, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Chiefs, Vikings, Browns, and Ravens.
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While we don’t know specifically who said it, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said, “Talked to a few people who attended Odell Beckham’s workout. One noted how noticeably muscular Beckham looks now, likening him to a combination of Saquon Barkley and Deebo Samuel. Another said Beckham is simply a gifted athlete, and that hasn’t changed. Explosion was there.”
Where Beckham ends up signing remains unclear. However, what is clear is that the interest is legitimate. Beckham should sign somewhere soon, and it will almost certainly be on a team where he can play a prominent role.