Odell Beckham Jr. is only 29 years of age, but based on his statistics, and games missed because of injuries over the past few seasons, it seems that he could be in his final season. OBJ has not reached the end zone in six of his six games this season. He is averaging the lowest yards per game, the fewest receptions per week, the lowest catch rate and the lowest yards per target.
Beckham is still able to find space in the zones and get away from defensive backs when he runs deep, but Baker Mayfield, Browns' quarterback, was constantly unable to find Beckham while running those routes. Beckham was clearly fed up with Mayfield and was fired by the Browns. Beckham, who was unclaimed on waivers by the Browns, is now a free agent and has made it clear which teams he would like to play for.
Beckham prefers the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints. Beckham didn't list the Patriots and Seahawks as possible destinations for the three-time Pro Bowler.
When I first saw this list, my first thought was "Would Beckham to Packers really be good?" Beckham has never been able to get along with his quarterbacks when they aren't following his lead throughout his career. When the Giants were 1-3 in 2018, he called out Eli Manning. Beckham called out Eli Manning with the Giants when the team started 1-3 in 2018.
Although he and every new quarterback are in a love-love relationship, it quickly turns into a honeymoon phase when Beckham fails to produce Pro Bowl-caliber numbers or the team loses.
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Beckham was instantly thrust into the No. 1 receiver role when he joined the Giants or Browns. Beckham was immediately promoted to the No. 1 receiver position with both those teams. Green Bay will not allow him that luxury. Rodgers' top choice in the passing game is Davante Adams, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Beckham might have a shorter honeymoon period if he doesn't get the targets he wants immediately. This is compared to his time with the Giants or Browns. Rodgers is quite stubborn, and that's not even counting the COVID stuff. Did you see how he held on to the Packers this offseason. Rodgers won't let him have his way. Then all hell breaks loose. Apart from Greg Jennings's comments about Rodgers in retirement, every Rodgers receiver has known that Rodgers is in control. He has won three MVPs, a Super Bowl and made Packers fans forget all about Brett Favre. It's his choice. Beckham would likely not fall into this mold, which makes his relationship with Rodgers even more likely to end early.
The Chiefs are in need of a competent number-two option outside, considering all the losses Patrick Mahomes has suffered this season. Beckham could easily fit in the system and, at the minimum, fill the same role as Sammy Watkins' last few seasons at Arrowhead. Despite the fact that drops are a problem for the Chiefs' offense Mahomes' decision making has not helped. Mahomes has repeatedly forced throws, whether they are into coverage or while being dragged to ground by a defense. Mahomes was able to make a lot of these decisions in his first two seasons but his luck is starting to catch up with him in 2021.
While Beckham would not help Mahomes in his decision-making process, Beckham's ability of getting open off the line scrimmage will make Mahomes job easier. This will also limit Mahomes opportunities to make poor decisions. Beckham hates to take short routes. Beckham stated the following about Eli Manning in 2018.
"Can Manning still throw it? Yes, but it's been safe and it's been cool catching shallow routes and trying to get it to the house. But, you know what? I want to get over the top of someone. Why is it that we can't throw the ball more than 20 yards?
Beckham will not have the same chance to go deep in Kansas City like he did in Cleveland. Deep routes are Tyreek Hill’s specialty. Beckham is no Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs are the worst of all the teams Beckham named. It's difficult to imagine Beckham enjoying his time in Kansas City if the Chiefs fail to win after Beckham's acquisition. The relationship between Beckham, Andy Reid and Le'Veon Bell would likely end in a similar way to Bell's departure.
Beckham makes the most sense with the Saints. Sean Payton is a well-respected coach who has mastered the art of managing difficult personalities. The Saints also need someone with Beckham’s skills. Beckham excels as a runner on intermediate-to-deep routes. Marquez Callaway is already in that role for Saints but he doesn’t have the same effectiveness on those routes as Beckham.
Beckham's ceiling is limited by Taysom Hill's position as quarterback, but the Saints have proven that they don’t need an elite quarterback to play solid football. Beckham could be added to the roster immediately and become the best passing option. Beckham could be the top deep threat for the roster, even though he'd likely have a low target share on a team that doesn't pass the ball as much. Add in the fact that New Orleans will likely be in the playoffs, and Michael Thomas has an ankle injury that means Beckham would fit in New Orleans' offense like a glove.
Beckham will thrive if he can find the right system. Beckham's elite ability to spot soft spots in zone coverage is an asset in any NFL system. Beckham is a lot like Randy Moss, who joined the Patriots in 2007. Beckham can find new life if he has the right circumstances.
Actually, Beckham's career in the Browns is very similar to Moss' with the Raiders. Both played 29 games for their respective teams. Beckham had 210 targets, while Moss had 219; Beckham had 219. Moss received 102 receptions, Beckham had only 114. Moss had 1,558 receiving yards; Beckham had 1,586. Although Moss' 11 touchdowns with Oakland were more frequent than Beckham's seven touchdowns with Cleveland, the similarities remain.
Many believed Moss had been washed up before he arrived in Foxborough. He put up the most prestigious receiving season ever in his first season. Although Beckham may not be as gifted as Randy Moss in his first season, they were both just 29 at the time they left their teams. Their numbers are strikingly similar. Beckham still has a lot of fuel left. He's not out of the picture yet.