Patriots should pass on Odell Beckham Jr.
There was a time when going after Odell Beckham Jr. would be an absolute, green-light, go all-in option for the Patriots.
This isn’t one of those times.
If Tom Brady was nevertheless the quarterback, and the one having to manager a diva receiver, then sure. Move mountains for the guy. Make a waiver claim and hope he lands. Or, if he gets by waivers, grab him as a free agent.
Absolutely. Go for it.
But the situation in New England is totally different, with rookie quarterback Mac Jones finding his way, and establishing himself in the league. While the Pats certainly have the need for a receiver with Beckham’s ability, and could use a player with his quickness and ability to get open against man coverage, it’s not a fit from a makeup and chemistry standpoint.
Diva receivers who command the ball — which is why Beckham didn’t fit with Baker Mayfield — don’t mix well with rookie quarterbacks who are trying to gain trust as they rule the offense. Adding Beckham and all of his baggage has the possible to spell trouble for a Patriots team that’s just started to turn around its season.
Randy Moss had an historic year playing with Brady in 2007. Antonio Brown formed a quick bond with Brady before being released 11 days later. Jones, however, doesn’t have a Super Bowl-filled begin again giving him moment credibility with Beckham.
Would a national title and unbeaten season in college impress or move Beckham? Mayfield, a No. 1 overall draft pick who won the Heisman Trophy, didn’t seem to earn any clout with those achievements.
That being said, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick enjoys adding distressed assets for cheap, and having them resurrect their career with the Patriots. He hasn’t been afraid to add a controversial player on either side of the ball, believing they’ll fall in line in Foxboro.
Moss did for a time. So did Corey Dillon, among many others. That, along with his talent, is what makes OBJ an intriguing possibility.
But already if Belichick wants to take that chance, and puts in a claim when Beckham is officially released, the odds of landing OBJ aren’t exactly great.
The Patriots currently are 15th in the waiver order. There are plenty of teams ahead of them — namely Seattle and San Francisco — who should pounce before them just based on need. Indianapolis and Minnesota could also use Beckham, and perhaps a few surprise teams like Detroit or Jacksonville will put in a claim.
Interested teams, though, would need the cap space to take on the remainder of his $7.25 million contract, which is what’s left on his existing deal, according to reports. That might thin the field of possibilities.
If he gets by waivers, and gets to choose his team as a free agent, would Beckham want to join a team that’s 4-4 and breaking in a rookie quarterback?
The Patriots shouldn’t take the chance, already if it would only be for the remainder of the season. Beckham’s contract is non-guaranteed after this year. Maybe if the Pats were a receiver away from being a authentic contender, going after Beckham would make more sense. But now’s simply not the right time to take on OBJ already if he clears waivers and the price winds up being popular.
And is Beckham already as good as he was with the Giants?
Beckham, who turned 29 Friday, blew out an ACL last season. In six games this season, he’s made 17 catches on 34 targets for 232 yards. Prior to getting injured last year, he had 23 catches for 319 yards and three TDs.
His last 1,000-yard season came in 2019 with the Browns, and before that, 2018 with the Giants.
Of late, however, Beckham just hasn’t shown to be the same enormously talented player he once was. Beckham’s father made his displeasure with those struggles known when he posted a video to social media Tuesday that highlighted the times when Mayfield didn’t target his son when he was open. He later put up a post that said Mayfield was “either hating on Odell or he just doesn’t want him shining.”
If Jones wants to satisfy OBJ every down, every pass, maybe that would work for a receiver with a reputation for being me-first, team-last.
But at this point, Jones and his development is the most important consideration here. The rookie has done incredibly well to this point. Sure, he could use more help, especially with free-agent addition Nelson Agholor being a bust so far.
But there’s little room for error for the Patriots now at 4-4, and with Jones finally establishing himself.
Don’t let this aim stop for OBJ.
Click: See details