The Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes are heating up on Wednesday. Beckham cleared waivers after 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday and now, the former Browns receiver is free to sign wherever he likes.
As expected, there are plenty of suitors for Beckham’s services. He struggled to sync up with Baker Mayfield during his time in Cleveland, but he still averaged 13.9 yards per reception during his two-plus years there. And NFL teams are always looking for more receiving talent.
Beckham seems to want a couple of things with his new landing spot. He wants to play for a contender but also wants to be in a situation where he can get plenty of targets. He averaged just 2.8 catches per game for the Browns this season, so he’s looking for a bigger role.
Rumors are swirling around like crazy about Beckham, and it seems like he’s narrowing his list a bit. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports that he is “honing in” on the Packers, Chiefs and Saints as his top three potential options.
On the day in which he could make his final decision, free-agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. is honing in on the Chiefs, Packers and Saints, per league sources.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) November 10, 2021
Does that rule out a late bid from other teams that are interested in him, like the Patriots and Seahawks? Certainly not, so until Beckham officially makes his choice, all options will be on the table.
What’s the latest on Odell Beckham Jr.’s status? Here are the rumors surrounding his top landing spots as he looks to make a decision about where to play next.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers appear to be one of the frontrunners to sign Beckham at this time. Podcast host Jordan Schultz noted Tuesday that Beckham has “prioritized the Packers as his No. 1 destination” as a free agent. Russini’s report that the Packers are among the finalists Beckham is honing in on would seemingly back that up.
Green Bay could use a true No. 2 receiver to complement Davante Adams, so Beckham would make sense here. He also hasn’t played with a quarterback like reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers during his career, so some NFL executives believe that could appeal to him, per Ben Standig of The Athletic.
But will Beckham be willing to take the veteran minimum to sign in Green Bay? That’s reportedly what the Packers are offering at the moment.
According to NFL source, #Packers are offering Odell Beckham Jr., the veteran minimum. Of course, that could go up, but they can’t pay him a ton when they still haven’t extended Davante Adams.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) November 10, 2021
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New England Patriots
The Patriots have had a tendency to go after disgruntled, big-name receivers under Bill Belichick’s watch. In 2019, they signed Antonio Brown after his tumultuous few months with the Raiders. Could they do the same with Beckham after his Browns exit?
It’s an idea that the team has at least explored. The team has been in touch with Beckham’s camp, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic, and NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran reports that the Patriots are intrigued by Beckham’s skill set and could try to sign him.
“The likelihood exists,” Curran said of Beckham coming to New England, per NBC Sports Boston. “The folks that I’ve spoken to in Foxboro over the last week about Odell Beckham, not once has anyone expressed to me doubt about the fact that he could be an intriguing add. I’ve also had folks tell me that he does bring an ability that isn’t necessarily represented on their offense.”
The Patriots aren’t on the list of potential landing spots that Russini reported, but perhaps they can put on an 11th-hour full-court press to sell Beckham on resurrecting his career under Belichick and Co.
Kansas City Chiefs
The latest report from Russini indicates that the Chiefs are one of Beckham’s preferred landing spots. It makes sense, as the team has struggled to find a quality No. 2 receiver and replacement for Sammy Watkins this season. They signed Josh Gordon after his reinstatement to the NFL, but that experiment hasn’t panned out yet.
Schultz reported that the Chiefs had a conversation with Beckham, so they certainly appear to have an interest in him. And if Beckham wants to play with a top-tier quarterback, teaming up with Patrick Mahomes makes a lot of sense despite the recent struggles of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have shown an interest in Beckham since the trade deadline. ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin reported that they were one of the teams that had trade discussions about Beckham before ultimately deciding to pass on a move.
I’m told there were discussions re: Odell going to the #Saints — but both sides couldn’t agree on a workable deal, given how much OBJ is owed the rest of the year.
Plus, there still is optimism in the #Browns building that OBJ can be a big part of their second-half playoff push
— KimberLEY A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) November 2, 2021
That said, the Saints are still interested in Beckham, and New Orleans is a different type of landing spot than the others on this list.
The Saints don’t have a great quarterback right now. Trevor Siemian is the starter with Jameis Winston out for the season. However, they have an opportunity for Beckham to be a true No. 1 receiver in this offense.
Michael Thomas is also out for the season and the Saints have largely taken a committee approach at receiver. Marquez Callaway has looked good at times, but the team lacks a true No. 1 receiver.
Beckham could have a chance to be that in New Orleans. That’s why the team appears to be one of the three teams he is honing in on, per Russini. Plus, Beckham went to college at LSU and grew up in New Orleans. So, that connection could make this a more legitimate landing spot than most realize.
The Seahawks are another team that has expressed an interest in Beckham. Mike Jones of USA TODAY reported that the Seahawks were “a potential suitor to keep an eye on” in the Beckham sweepstakes, and Pete Carroll’s cryptic message before Beckham hit waivers seemed to hint that the interest was mutual.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported over the weekend that Beckham preferred to land with the Seahawks. That would pair him with a top-tier quarterback in Russell Wilson but he would also be the No. 3 receiver in that offense to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Is that something that Beckham is willing to do? It seems possible given the smoke around the Seahawks. However, they weren’t one of the three teams Russini reported Beckham is “honing in” on., so it appears that Seattle has taken a step back in the bidding war for his services.