Odell Beckham Jr. has joined the Los Angeles Rams.
The news hit social media on Thursday like an earthquake in California.
But in the NFL power rankings, the hierarchy, in terms of having the best chance to win a Super Bowl, it didn’t move the needle.
The Rams are no closer to getting back to the Super Bowl with their latest big-name acquisition. Last week, the Rams traded for All-Pro linebacker Von Miller from the Denver Broncos.
For sure, the Rams are all in on this season.
But Vegas isn’t so sure. The OBJ pickup didn’t change any odds with the bookmakers, either. At BetMGM, the Rams Super Bowl odds before the Odell signing: +800. The Rams Super Bowl odds after the Odell signing: +800.
Despite all the hype about OBJ leaving the Cleveland Browns and heading to Hollywood, this assessment is spot on.
On the surface, it looks like a great pickup for the Rams. They got a star player to add to their already 7-2 squad. This move, on paper, has to make them better, give them more juice come the postseason.
There’s just one problem. OBJ hasn’t been a star receiver for years now.
The flare and name are both still there, but not the numbers.
Beckham Jr., the three-time Pro Bowl selection, was almost invisible in Cleveland this season. He had just 17 catches for 232 yards and no touchdowns in six games. Of course, it’s not his fault. It’s quarterback Baker Mayfield’s fault.
Well, at least, that’s the spin as Beckham Jr. takes his act on the road again.
But we’ve seen this movie before. When the Browns traded for him in 2019, NFL fans went off the rails. They thought the Browns would be unstoppable.
One Browns player thought it wouldn’t be fair to opposing defensives and predicted their offense would be like a video game.
The national media fawned over the Browns. Many talking-heads on TV predicted the Browns to get to the Super Bowl that season. And it was all based on OBJ leaving the Big Apple and joining the Browns.
It never materialized.
While OBJ had a first year with the Browns (1,035 yards), his stint there was a bust.
It seemed as if he had more injuries than big catches.
In fact, the Browns did better when OBJ was sidelined. With Beckham Jr. hurt last season, the Browns won 11 games and a postseason game.
With this latest move, people will automatically think things will work. But it’s not always the case. Chemistry is a big part of things working out between two people. Mayfield and OBJ just never clicked. It could also be the case of Matthew Stafford and OBJ.
Even Browns’ safety John Johnson III -— who spent the previous four years with the Rams — wasn’t totally convinced that OBJ is a slam-dunk fit in L.A.:
“They had a great thing going, like a complete offense,” said Johnson III to Cleveland reporters. “I don’t know. I just feel, like, from being in L.A., I know for a fact the offense runs through Cooper Kupp; even in the run game, the pass game, the screen game, it kind of runs through Cooper Kupp. So obviously, Odell’s a big name and he’s going to want attention as well. It will be interesting.”
That is for sure.
L.A. has tried to stack the deck a number of times in its sports history. It hasn’t always worked out, however.
Just this past MLB season, the Dodgers, who were everybody’s favorite on paper, didn’t stand pat at the trading deadline and grabbed two stars for a chance to repeat as World Series champs.
They traded for ace Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals. It was supposed to make them even more of a lock. But they lost to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.
And in historical terms, no one can forget the 2003-2004 Lakers. Shaq and Kobe had already won three titles in a row when they decided to add Karl Malone and Gary Payton. That gave the Lakers potentially four future Hall of Famers in their starting lineup.
The Lakers lost to a Detroit Pistons square with no stars on it.
It simply tells you that adding big-name players to a roster doesn’t ensure you anything. There’s a good chance the Rams and OBJ will find that out in the postseason.