Welcome to Carolina Odell Beckham Jr…
In a week that has had many different headlines dominating the news, the news that Odell Beckham Jr. had been placed on waivers by the Cleveland Browns felt like the most shocking.
The former Browns wide receiver had made his unhappiness well known, and now he and the Browns have mutually decided to go their separate ways.
The former 2014 AP Rookie of the Year will now go to waivers. In the NFL, waivers work much like the draft; the team with the worst record in the NFL will have the first chance to claim him, then the second, and so on.
In addition to the order dictated by waivers, the team that opts to add OBJ to its roster must have $7.25 million in cap space. This is a steep price for a player who now will be a rental as his contract will expire at the end of the league year.
So, with those two restrictions, I will try and deduce where exactly Odell Beckham will go, if anywhere.
Looking at the criteria of needing to have 7.25 million of the salary cap and the order of the waiver wire, the following teams made it onto the list of financially likely (teams on the edge of the cap could make room).
I also thought it would be good to add their The Draft Network 2021 Needs, broken down into primary, secondary, ancillary, and don’t need.
I included the winning record as a criterion because if you are 1-6, why would you add a pricey receiver you are likely not to retain?
The table ends up looking like this:
|Team||Waiver #||Need Category||Winning Record|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||4th||Ancillary||No, 1-6|
|Washington Football Team||7th||Secondary||No, 2-6|
|Philadelphia Eagles||8th||Ancillary||No, 3-5|
|Seattle Seahawks||9th||Secondary||No, 3-5|
|Denver Broncos||16th||Ancillary||.500, 4-4|
|Carolina Panthers||19th||Ancillary||.500, 4-4|
|Los Angeles Chargers||20th||Secondary||Yes, 4-3|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||21st||Secondary||Yes, 4-3|
|Cincinnati Bengals||22nd||Ancillary||Yes, 5-3|
Jacksonville Jaguars: I do not see it. They’re fourth in the waiver order and are the first team with the cap room, but my question is, why?
The Jaguars are not contenders, their likelihood in retaining Beckham is minimal, and their need is ancillary. If Jacksonville does add him, they have to worry about their young rookie QB in Trevor Lawrence changing how he plays, much like Baker Mayfield did.
Washington Football Team: The Football team has much of the same reasoning that the Jaguars did. They are not contenders, and they will not keep Beckham in the offseason. The only difference I can see here is that Washington has a bit more need, but I do not think it is high enough to warrant dropping $7 million.
Philadelphia Eagles: You could almost copy and paste the Jaguars into here. The Eagles are currently in better shape but have very little need, and the addition of Beckham is unlikely to put the Eagles into playoff contention.
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks are where this begins to get interesting. No, the Seahawks do not have a winning record, but that is more due to the injury to Rusell Wilson than anything else. And while the
Seahawks have Metcalf in Lockett, the idea of adding Beckham to that trio is intriguing.
The Seahawks are genuinely a playoff-caliber team; they just have had their season derailed by injury. I think you can make a case that adding OBJ to this team could help the Seahawks make a playoff push.
I also think that Beckham could be persuaded to stay in Seattle: having Russell Wilson throwing you the ball is always a good thing for a wide receiver, and the team is almost always competitive.
Denver Broncos: The Broncos may have a .500 record and the salary cap to add OBJ to their roster, but I would argue that because the team sent away Von Miller, a face of the franchise, the Broncos are more a selling team rather than a buyer.
There is a case to be made for the Broncos to add Odell to try and fix the offensive woes and to try and make it into the wildcard round, but I do not know how much I like that. If Denver wanted to make a playoff push, they would have kept Von and brought pieces in.
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers are a team much like the Broncos, that is .500, needs to fix offensive woes, and would like to make a playoff push. Unlike the Broncos, the Panthers were trading buyers, adding CJ Henderson, Stephon Gilmore, and being connected to Deshaun Watson.
I think the Panthers could pull the trigger on Odell to try and help what has become a lackluster receiving core. Robby Anderson has seen an incredible drop-off in production, and while DJ Moore is good, he is the ONLY wide receiver above 500 yards (645).
David Tepper has shown that he wants a winning franchise, and this feels like a step the Panthers could quickly take to get them in that direction.
I think that retention is an issue, I doubt OBJ would want to continue to play with Sam Darnold, but the Panthers might not care if OBJ could help them make the playoffs.
Los Angeles Chargers: For some reason, I just do not like this as a destination for Odell, and the Chargers do not need Odell.
I honestly think the Chargers are a winning team without the drama Odell brings means they will be inclined to opt-out of adding him.
Now, if the price tag were lower (if Odell clears waivers), I think the math changes a little bit, and because the Chargers are such a good team in a great destination, I think Odell might be interested in going there. If cheap enough, the Chargers might want to take him on, drama and all.
Pittsburgh Steelers: I know the Steelers have a low need for wide receivers, but I honestly can’t entirely agree with the take. I would assume that the need is low because Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster is still on their roster, but I think the Steelers have sufficient demand because of his injury.
That coupled with the fact that the Steelers have a winning record in a tight division and a high-caliber defense, I think they could talk themselves into adding him.
And because JuJu will return next season, the Steelers do not need to worry about retention.
There is also something to be said for the Steelers taking him on so the next team on the list cannot.
Cincinnati Bengals: I don’t think Cincinnati would add OBJ because they already have an excellent passing attack, but adding OBJ to JaMarr Chase would certainly help Joe Burrow.
I think the Bengals will pass on the Bengals because they already have a top-tier wide receiver and a winning record. They do not need the added drama, and certainly not at the price he would command.
So, in conclusion, I think that the three most likely teams to add Odel Beckham Jr. are the Panthers, the Steelers, and the Seahawks. I think the Steelers would love to add OBJ but will likely see him taken by either the Panthers or the Seahawks.
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