Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors: Ravens, Chiefs, and Steelers among teams that could sign WR?

With rumors swirling that the Browns could release Odell Beckham Jr., what is his contract situation, and where could he wind up?

The relationship between WR Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns has deteriorated quickly according to rumors around the NFL. During the final hours before the 2021 NFL trade deadline, a social media campaign to #FreeOBJ began, including posts from LeBron James and Beckham’s father.

On Wednesday, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told the team that Beckham was essentially not on the team right now, per Mike Silver. With the relationship between Beckham and the Browns at a breaking point, it looks like we are set to see Beckham hit the open market Friday.

Odell Beckham Jr. set to be released by the Cleveland Browns

After Diana Russini reported Tuesday that the Browns had no plans to trade Beckham, it seems odd for them to release him just a matter of days later. However, in just 72 hours, the situation has deteriorated to a point where it is apparently no longer salvageable.

The Browns are in discussion with Beckham to reduce his salary and pay the majority of the rest of his remaining $8 million in salary as a signing bonus. The hope is that then Beckham will be claimed, saving the Browns at least $0.5 million and maybe more in 2021.

With the rumors set to come true, where are Beckham’s potential landing spots

A number of teams would at least take interest in Beckham when he becomes available. The problem is that he brings a big personality. He is never far from controversy, and any team bringing him on would very much have to weigh that into the decision.

However, saying all of that, NFL teams are usually happy to take on a little controversy if it might help their Super Bowl aspirations. Any competitor around the league would be intrigued to talk to Beckham when he becomes available on the open market. Even teams that don’t need him might consider adding him just so that a competitor cannot. Let’s take a look at some of the most enticing potential landing spots for Beckham.

Baltimore Ravens

Could you imagine the feeling in Cleveland if Beckham walked out of their building and straight into Baltimore? Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, and Sammy Watkins are a solid trio, but Beckham would add another level of dynamic playmaking to go with them.

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The Ravens have also had issues with Bateman’s health this year, and Watkins is injury-prone as well. However, Beckham is unlikely to want to come and be anything less than a starter. That could be a sticking point for the Ravens, especially if Beckham starts demanding targets in what is traditionally a run-first offense.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers have been linked with nearly every wide receiver available this season. If Beckham were available, that would likely be no different. The personality and culture of the team might be an issue, but OBJ would almost certainly be an upgrade on the rest of the depth chart behind Davante Adams.

Beckham could be the piece the Packers need to push them over the top in their hunt for another Super Bowl. However, Green Bay might have had enough of their time in the headlines after the last couple of weeks.

Kansas City Chiefs

This fit makes so much sense it almost hurts. Beckham would thrive playing opposite a playmaker like Tyreek Hill. Throw in the attention that Travis Kelce gets, and Beckham would likely face single coverage on every route. Playing with a QB of Patrick Mahomes’ caliber would be a great way for Beckham to earn a big contract this offseason. That is, of course, if one does not present itself after his release.

Las Vegas Raiders

With the Raiders’ current situation at the WR position, they are going to need reinforcements in some way or another. With Beckham potentially hitting waivers, he could step in and become the team’s de facto number one option in the passing game. Derek Carr has been impressive this season, and the Raiders are second in the league in passing yards per game with 307.9.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints reportedly reached out to the Browns to enquire about Beckham’s availability. Even before the news that Michael Thomas would miss the rest of the season, it was easy to see why. The Saints have a complete lack of playmakers at wide receiver, with their primary receiver being RB Alvin Kamara.

If rumors of Beckham’s potential release are true, this would be an ideal fit. He would immediately become the WR1 on the offense and would see a considerable number of targets. Additionally, he would get to play his home games in a climate-controlled dome, with a fantastic offensive head coach calling the plays in Sean Payton.

Pittsburgh Steelers

This is another nightmare scenario for the Browns. With JuJu Smith-Schuster out for the year, the Steelers need another pass catcher. Beckham would slot in perfectly alongside Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool in this offense. He might not get as many targets as he would elsewhere, but this team loves to throw the ball.

Additionally, if the relationship has soured so much that Beckham might be released, signing with a division rival like the Steelers would be a perfect response for Beckham. Yet, the thought of this might just be enough to make the Browns keep the veteran WR around. The question then is whether they allow him back on the field or not this year.

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