On Monday, the Cleveland Browns officially released WR Odell Beckham Jr. As Beckham goes through the waiver process on Tuesday, what are some potential landing spots for the wide receiver? Which teams might be looking to add Beckham as they make a push for the playoffs in 2021?
Odell Beckham Jr.’s potential landing spots
Beckham Jr. is an undeniably talented player, and Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that he wants to play for a contender, according to a source close to the player. How much of that is true and how much of that is simply lip service to try and prevent teams higher up the waiver order from claiming Beckham has yet to be seen.
If OBJ is not claimed and goes into free agency, it will be interesting to see what length of deal he signs. Finding a contending team willing to commit big money on a long-term deal may be tough. Therefore, Beckham most likely will sign a one-year contract. That would leave him needing to finish the season strong in the hopes of earning a big payday in the 2022 offseason.
That element makes it interesting to see whether Beckham’s reported desire to play for a contender is a legitimate situation. Will Beckham be happy going to a team where he is the second or third receiving option? Or will he look for a situation where he has the chance to be the lead receiver and get 10+ targets per game?
If he really does want to contend, then there are plenty of options for him. However, if Beckham Jr. wanted to go somewhere he would be considered the No. 1 WR, his options would be significantly reduced. Let’s take a look at some of the potential landing spots for Beckham Jr., either via waivers or as a free agent.
Beckham’s landing spots | AFC
Which AFC teams could take a look at Beckham? A couple of contenders stand out as potential fits for the veteran wide receiver.
Can the Kansas City Chiefs offer Beckham enough targets?
The Chiefs are certainly a contender, even if their performances have not always made that clear this season. They have two talented players that can draw the defense’s attention and give Beckham plenty of room to work. The concern is whether there will be enough targets after Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce get their share to keep OBJ happy.
Related | Odell Beckham Jr.’s contract: Salary cap impact and ramifications of being released
Sammy Watkins is a prime example of that concern. He spent three years in Kansas City and saw 200 targets in 34 games. Will an average of 5.9 targets per game be enough to keep Beckham happy? If not, the Chiefs could just be adding another headache to a crowded wide receiver depth chart.
Beckham Jr. would be the No. 1 receiver for the New England Patriots
New England feels like it ticks all the boxes as a Beckham landing spot. The Patriots really have no clear No. 1 receiver. Jakobi Meyers leads the team in targets (73), but his 63.9% catch rate is hardly setting the world alight. Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne are filling roles, but Agholor is unreliable, and Bourne sees just 4.3 targets per game.
Beckham could immediately come in and be the central figure in this offense. It might take him a week or two to adjust to the Patriots’ scheme, but the ceiling is extremely high if and when he does. The Patriots could be one of Beckham’s more ideal landing spots to play out the rest of the 2021 season.
Beckham’s landing spots | NFC
Could Beckham find his way back to the NFC? Here are a few teams that could make sense for him, either on waivers or via free agency.
The Green Bay Packers need a WR2 opposite Davante Adams
While Beckham Jr. would not immediately be the No. 1 WR in Green Bay, he would at least be the No. 2. Playing opposite Davante Adams — with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball — may very well be one of the best-case scenarios for OBJ. Defenses would not be able to focus on Beckham Jr. with Adams on the other side, but he should still see enough targets to remain satisfied.
The Packers are also a contender, so this destination ticks the boxes for Beckham Jr. This is not a perfect landing spot by any means, however. Green Bay already seemingly has an issue internally with the whole Rodgers situation. Would adding Beckham’s personality to the mix improve things? Also, as great as the Packers are as a franchise, it is in a very remote area of the country. Would OBJ be happy out of the spotlight up in Green Bay?
The Los Angeles Rams offer a potential high-profile destination
We have already seen the Rams’ newest arrival, Von Miller, trying to recruit Beckham. Heading to Los Angeles would put the former Browns WR on a contender and put him right in the spotlight in terms of a major market in the NFL. The concern comes over what his role would be in the offense.
Cooper Kupp has established himself as the clear No. 1 in Los Angeles. He has 103 targets through nine games and over 1,000 yards.
Robert Woods has a further 69 targets through nine games. That is 20 targets per game in Los Angeles already being consumed.
Beckham could assume the role of Van Jefferson, but he is getting just over 5 targets per game. Unless Beckham would replace Woods as the No. 2 in the offense, LA might not be OBJ’s ideal destination in terms of his long-term thinking.
Playing for the New Orleans Saints would be a homecoming of sorts for the former LSU receiver
The Saints would actually be another close-to-ideal situation for Beckham. Michael Thomas is done for the year, and New Orleans’ lead receiver is a running back. The QB situation is messy with Trevor Siemian, but the lack of top-tier weapons does not help.
Beckham would be the Saints’ instant WR1 and could see double-digit targets per game in Thomas’ role. He would be playing in a dome, on turf, and back in Lousiana. While Green Bay and New England are solid options, New Orleans could very well be the perfect place for Beckham this season.