Odell Beckham Jr. is back on the field and reportedly expecting to cash in big time with a new contract in free agency. After winning a ring with the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, Beckham missed all of last season recovering from an injured ACL he suffered in that game. He’s finally able to work out for teams and reportedly seeks top dollar somewhere in the area of $20 million, annually.
Always aim high, and rightfully so. But it makes you wonder how far into free agency (which begins Wednesday) it’ll take for OBJ’s team to realize that’s not likely to happen for the 30-year-old wide receiver, and they will probably need to temper expectations. Wideouts his age with a history of lower extremity injuries don’t usually make out with those big deals, especially after missing so much time.
Keep in mind these are only reports of what Beckham wants financially. He hasn’t stated anything like this publicly, so we know how that works. For the sake of argument, if this is true, OBJ will be hard-pressed to find a team willing to sign him to that hefty agreement. Beckham is at that stage where he could still be a crucial piece on a team, but not to the tune of $20 million (if reports are true).
The good news for OBJ is that multiple teams are interested in his services. While the lengths they are willing to go to in acquiring him won’t be known for another couple of days at least, the interest is there. While that team in Dallas, who’d been heavily tied to Beckham a few months back, wasn’t in attendance in Arizona for the workout, they are said to still be in the running.
Among the teams who did make the trip to watch Beckham’s workout were the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals. Defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs even sent folks to watch OBJ run routes and make one-hand catches. All it takes is one. And looking at this list, he’ll have more than a few options.
That said, seeing how close the former first-round pick gets to that $20 million mark will be intriguing. If injuries weren’t a factor, OBJ would likely be a lock to get whatever he wanted within reasonable market parameters. But after missing the 2022 campaign and supposedly being ready toward the end of that season but refusing to work out, teams might be hesitant to open up their checkbooks so freely.
Hopefully, Beckham gets the money he desires, whatever that may be, but that large number doesn’t sound feasible. That’s more like No. 1 receiver money, and at this stage of his career, OBJ isn’t signing with a contender as the first option. If he’s ok playing for Carolina or New England, then maybe, because neither of those teams is sniffing a Super Bowl anytime soon. And we know Bill Belichick isn’t paying a pass catcher that type of money anyway.
So, OBJ’s journey back to the football field officially begins this week. There’s no doubt he’ll be signed. It’s just a matter of where and how much that lucky team is willing to spend.