Who can afford Odell? By Rhys Knott

Who can afford Odell? By Rhys Knott
Reading Time: 4 minutes.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports Odell Beckham jr. should be declared fit to return to football this week. This after rupturing his knee ligaments in the Super Bowl back in February. Unsurprisingly a Wide Receiver with 56 touchdown receptions from 531 career receptions is garnering plenty of interest around the league. Beckham himself said in an interview that there are four teams who he is considering. But who can afford to pay a three time Pro Bowler?

Theoretically any GM can create enough cap room for a star player who could potentially swing the momentum of their team’s season. If they offer a long-term contract and re-sign some of their veterans to new contracts. Beckham has had two serious knee injuries since the start of 2020 though. And undergone two operations (the first of which was reportedly “botched”). So offering the 30 year old a four or five year deal could be risky.

Would Odell go back?

Ironically the team with the most Cap space right now is the Cleveland Browns. Who Beckham was playing for when he suffered the first knee ligament injury. Plus they have money to spend due to the way they structured their inexplicable Deshaun Watson deal. They’re $33.4 million under their cap and while they’ve only won three games so far this season they are just two and a half games away from a Wildcard berth. Beyond the furore that’s about to engulf the Browns when Watson returns to action it seems unlikely Beckham would want to battle Amari Cooper for a share of targets. Especially since he’s averaged 24.67 and 26.20 yards per catch in his last two games.

The Denver Broncos have the second most space and the criticism they’ve received for Nathaniel Hackett’s Offence and how it’s being steered by Russell Wilson would put off most players from signing up. But Odell loves a challenge. There’s a real chance to be the hero in Denver. Adding Beckham would likely be a real kill or cure scenario for the Broncos. Their critics would either be pacified if the addition provided some much needed dynamism. Or the disquiet would become even more vociferous if the play calling continued to be confusing and the Offence remained just as stodgy.

Joining a contender

The Eagles’ Cap space is the third largest in the league. With $10.3 million to spend this season and it’d be interesting to know if Beckham would be happy to join a seemingly unstoppable team. Especially one where he would have to play second fiddle. And may have to do as much run blocking as pass catching. Howie Roseman may be interested in adding another star player though. Beckham could well take some of the spotlight and pressure off the young stars on his roster too.

The Panthers and Raiders both have about $9.2 million available in 2022. While Beckham would have plenty of opportunity to shine neither situation should appeal. The Panthers don’t currently have a permanent Head Coach (the Raiders might join them in that situation too). And both teams have only won two games in 2022.

An unlikley landing?

The Falcons seem an unlikely landing spot as they are more of a run first Offence than an explosive passing attack. But they do have some Cap space ($8.7 million). And they’re definitely in the mix for a play-off spot in a very lacklustre NFC South. But with Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder two relatively unproven Quarterbacks they’re probably not in Odell Beckham’s top four. The Buccaneers would be an interesting proposition. Every Wide Receiver wants to catch passes from Tom Brady. They are currently top of the NFC South too. But they only have $2.8 million to play with at the moment and plenty of Wide Receivers.

The Patriots were rumoured to be interested in Beckham back in 2019. They could certainly use some help at receiver now. A diva Wideout probably wouldn’t help out Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe much as they struggle with some erratic play calling however. And their Offensive Line is battling a number of injuries. Only two teams currently have less Cap space than the Patriots at the moment too. (Which begs the question why are they bottom of their Division?)

The Favourites

The Cowboys and Packers are more likely to provide Beckham with the deep passes downfield he loves though. Both have been widely touted as his next destination. The Cowboys have the seventh most Cap space with $8.5 million available for the remainder of the season. And when Jerry Jones is signing the cheques nothing is out of the question. They’re not guaranteed a play-off spot though with the Giants battling them for an NFC Wildcard spot. The same can be said for the Packers. They’ve got an uphill battle ahead to make the postseason.

One thing that would make it a slightly easier path to tread is the addition of a Receiver with the ability to separate from Defensive Backs and a huge catch radius. And with Aaron Jones getting injured at the weekend they really need help. Their current Cap room is $7.7 million and they’ve got a Quarterback who has been successful in the past. A team without a true number one receiver the Packers would certainly provide Beckham plenty of targets. They have plenty of limelight to shine on Beckham too.

Banner image: Odell in action. Image from athlonsports.com

Rhys Knott has already made some interesting contributions to the sitte. Read more of his work here.

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