Thursday, December 8

Odell Beckham Jr. landing sites

Odell Beckham Jr.’s time with the Browns after his trade with the Giants was forgettable. He was mostly injured and ineffective as a downfield target for Baker Mayfiield, leading to Cleveland’s eventual release from the mercurial wide receiver.

Now the question is, can OBJ make it work with a third NFL team? The best asset Beckham, who turned 29 on Friday, has left is his name. Due to his highlights past, there might be some hope that he can return to his former elite form.

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There are six logical landing points for him. Rebuilding teams shouldn’t want to be a part of it given their age and diminishing returns. Rival teams will need to treat it as a “luxury” addition and make sure it doesn’t upset the delicate balance of their wardrobe.

Here we rank those half a dozen teams based on how best to accommodate Beckham, in reverse order:

6) New England Patriots

The Patriots’ top three wide receivers are Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, so they’re worth mentioning for that fact alone. But they also have a rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, in a good headspace for his type of offense with a lot of runs. Would they want to take a flier on Beckham, knowing that his presence can be as detrimental to Jones as it was to Mayfield?

Bill Belichick has taken a chance on these types of fallen stars several times before, including Antonio Brown. But it’s different without Tom Brady and with a budding young leader in Jones. Beckham lacks the versatility and “do his job” mentality to please Belichick to the point that it may be more of a personnel problem than a solution for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

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5) Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens always seem to need the help of a wide receiver for Lamar Jackson. But that’s ruling out that Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is having a spectacular season as his swift big threat and that first-round rookie Rashod Bateman is heading into a shocking second half as No. 2. They also have good depth with veteran Sammy. . Watkins about to return from a thigh injury and youngsters James Proche, Miles Boykin and Devin Duvernay also on the list.

Although the Ravens signed Le’Veon Bell, that was out of desperate need in the backfield. OBJ at this point is superfluous for their fleeting needs, since their own questionable health does not provide them with any additional insurance against injury.

4) Green Bay Packers

The Packers are always tied to improving wide receiver against Davante Adams due to inconsistency and injury issues from Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdés-Scantling and others. If there had been an available avenue for the Bears’ Allen Robinson, he would have been an ideal addition.

While OBJ deserves some consideration due to a deep threat profile that would fit Aaron Rodgers’ big arm, there should also be some thought about whether Rodgers and Beckham would have the necessary chemistry with their personalities to make it work. There is more weight in the answer which is no.

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3) Kansas City Chiefs

Here we go again. The Chiefs are tied to Beckham because his offense has sunk and many outside observers have pointed to the lack of a reliable third target behind wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce as a major factor. It is true that Patrick Mahomes has limitations with the combination of Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle. But the Chiefs already took a calculated gamble with Josh Gordon as Hill’s potential No. 2 complementary potential, and that hasn’t worked out yet.

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For one thing, coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach might think that OBJ provides a better chance of getting ahead than Gordon. On the other hand, Reid may be more focused on fixing more fundamental things with Mahomes, led by the reduction of turnovers. Mahomes, like Rodgers, has the big arm to power Beckham. However, adding a volatile goal may not be the best idea to get Mahomes out of his forced pass mode downfield.

2) Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders have a wide receiver after their absolute and correct decision to part ways with Henry Ruggs III. Beckham could be a direct replacement field stretcher for Ruggs, but suddenly he shouldn’t be treated as a number one receiver.

The Raiders passing game is in a rhythm without Jon Gruden, as Derek Carr is locked in with Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards as his top three targets, along with running back Kenyan Drake also becoming a bigger factor as a receiver. . There should be concern again about Beckham not clicking on Carr. General manager Mike Mayock should also have Brown’s disappointment fresh on his mind.

Like the Packers, this is more of a Beckham adjustment “on paper, in theory,” but it could be disastrous if applied to any division leader.

1) New Orleans Saints

The Saints’ lack of an established quarterback with Jameis Winston on the shelf makes this the best place for Beckham, because there is no one he can interrupt. He can be the occasional big-play threat in what should be a multi-run scheme, assuming Taysom Hill and not Trevor Siemian takes over as the starting QB.

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New Orleans learned earlier this week that Michael Thomas will not return from his ankle injury at all in 2021. The team’s receiving depth chart is among the worst in the league with Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Tre’Quan Smith, Kenny Stills, and Ty Montgomery. .

Beckham needs a good change of scenery to revive his career, but he also has to accept not being the alpha for it to work. You can help the Saints in many ways as long as you realize that they won’t be throwing you more than a few times per game.

The obvious advantage is that Beckham is a native of New Orleans, having attended Isidore Newman, the same high school as the Mannings. He wants LSU, making him a Louisiana guy through and through. A homecoming could go a long way toward getting Beckham back on track.

Of the six most rumored teams for Beckham, the Saints are actually the only ones that make sense from all perspectives.

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