Free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. continues to be a free agent, two weeks into training camp. How much longer will he be on the market?
In addition to the question of where he signs, there’s an issue as to when. The folks at NFL Network recently addressed that issue.
Ian Rapoport suggested that the Buccaneers had interest before signing Julio Jones, and that the Packers potentially are interested, too. (Or, perhaps, they’re acting as if they’re interested to placate Aaron Rodgers.)
I still think the Vikings could be interested, given coach Kevin O’Connell’s experience with Beckham in Los Angeles. That offense already will be much better simply with the hiring of an offensive-minded head coach. Throw in Beckham, and the Vikings could become a factor in a wide-open NFC.
The Rams obviously continue to be linked to Beckham, and for good reason. He was phenomenal last year in L.A. In Super Bowl LVI, Beckham emerged as an early favorite to win the game’s MVP award. But for the non-contact ACL tear, perhaps he would have.
With, as Rapoport noted, Beckham not expected to be ready for the first half of the season, he could choose to wait to pick a team until October or November, giving him a chance to land with a contender that potentially develops a need at the position, due to injury. Last year, the Rams acquired their need for OBJ just after he signed, with receiver Robert Woods tearing an ACL in practice. Beckham, because he’s free and clear, can wait as long as he wants to sign a new contract.
Of course, Beckham would be under contract by now if someone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. An ACL tear happening in the very last game of the season prevented him from parlaying a half-season of redemption into a full measure of financial compensation for future services.
The goal this year could (and maybe should) be to land with a team that once again plays deep into the postseason, giving Beckham a chance to attract the maximum contract he never has gotten, eight years after entering the NFL.