Odell Beckham Jr. has been a key contributor for the Baltimore Ravens this season, entering their Sunday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Chargers as the team’s third-leading receiver.
Why did the veteran wide receiver originally sign with Baltimore?
Why Did Odell Beckham Jr. Sign With the Ravens?
Beckham’s career has been nothing if not tumultuous. He burst onto the scene with the New York Giants, racking up 1,000-plus yards in three straight seasons to start his professional career and becoming well-known across the NFL world for his iconic one-handed catch.
He ultimately left the Giants after a productive 2018 season, where he again went over 1,000 yards, electing to sign with the Cleveland Browns. He had a successful first season there, then appeared in just seven games in 2020 before suffering a season-ending injury and was traded to the Los Angeles Rams midway through the 2021 campaign.
Beckham suffered an ACL injury during the Rams’ Super Bowl 56 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and elected to sit out the entire 2022 season to ensure he fully healed from the injury rather than signing with a team.
Fully recovered entering this past offseason, Beckham had plenty of teams interested in his services. What tipped the scale in Baltimore’s favor?
Its status as one of the league’s contenders, franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson, and stability under longtime Ravens coach John Harbaugh could all have been factors, but Beckham ultimately attributed his decision to a meeting with Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti.
“He had me fired up,” Beckham said at his introductory press conference. “Him reaching out was really (what) I felt like set it over the edge.
“We chopped it up, two men talking. It wasn’t so much the business side, everything that was going on. He made feel wanted. Somebody wants me to be here, wants me to be great, wants me to be a part of this team. At this point in my life, that’s the thing that I needed is to be wanted.”
Beckham’s Exploits in Baltimore
Beckham’s decision to sign with the Ravens is a move that has worked out well enough for both parties so far this season.
He is up to 24 catches for 374 yards and two touchdowns across nine appearances on the year, including four starts. That’s been plenty of production to make him Baltimore’s third-leading receiver behind wide receiver Zay Flowers (53 catches, 588 yards, one TD) and tight end Mark Andrews (45 catches, 544 yards, six TDs).
While that production is not quite at the heights of Beckham’s lofty start to his career, it has been plenty to make him an important part of the Ravens’ offensive effort thus far, alongside a host of key contributors.
Time will tell how he fares down the stretch and entering the playoffs, but there’s no doubt the partnership between the two sides has been valuable to this point.
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