Because he’s being released after the trading deadline, former Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will hit the waiver wire before becoming a free agent who can sign with any team.
The Saints are apparently one of his preferred destinations, along with the 49ers and Seahawks. But Beckham may not be able to get to any one of them if a different team puts in a waiver claim.
New Orleans head coach Sean Payton was asked about his club potentially claiming Beckham on Monday. While Payton somewhat dodged the question, he also intimated that if Beckham is going to be a Saint, it won’t be through waivers.
“The claiming deadline is today. No, it’s impossible for us to put a claim in on the player. You just have to look at the salary cap space,” Payton said, via Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Advocate. “And if we were going to put in a claim, it wouldn’t be something we discuss. I know it makes hit-worthy news.”
The Saints are one of the tightest teams under the cap, per the NFLPA’s public cap report, with just $710,136 available. But that figure suggests that New Orleans would need to make a move to bring in Beckham as a free agent regardless.
New Orleans’ passing game struggled for much of Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, with several drops negatively impacting drives. Now that quarterback Jameis Winston and receiver Michael Thomas are done for the season, the Saints could use a dynamic receiver.
But it remains to be seen if Beckham will even have the opportunity to get back to Louisiana.