Odell Beckham Jr.’s time with the Cleveland Browns got here to an finish remaining November when he was once put on waivers. It was once the most recent turbulent prevent for the proficient however mercurial huge receiver and plenty of questioned who can be prepared to take an opportunity on bringing Beckham Jr. into their locker room.
The solution got here when Beckham cleared waivers and briefly signed a team-friendly one-year, $1.25 million contract with the Los Angeles Rams. On the day that Beckham arrived on the Rams’ facility, the group misplaced huge receiver Robert Woods for the season to an ACL tear in apply.
Beckham stuck 27 passes for 305 yards, 5 touchdowns and 18 first downs within the ultimate 8 video games of the common season after which had 19 receptions for 236 yards with a landing because the Rams beat Arizona, Tampa Bay and San Francisco to advance to the Super Bowl. He stuck 9 passes for 113 yards in a 20-17 victory within the NFC name sport towards the 49ers.
Kevin O’Connell, then the Rams’ offensive coordinator and now head trainer of the Vikings, was once requested about Beckham’s contributions within the days ahead of the Rams confronted Cincinnati within the Super Bowl.
“I give Odell so much credit. He’s been such a joy to be around,” O’Connell mentioned. “I mentioned it previous this week that I feel the best factor for me has been finding out concerning the individual. He’s an incredible individual, his teammates love him after which, additionally, he loves soccer. When you’re as proficient as Odell is, you like soccer and your teammates love being round you in our tradition right here, you’ve were given an ideal probability for luck as a result of the whole thing else will handle itself with the ones form of characteristics.
” … In the top right here it was once in reality as much as Odell to return in and do all of that so he merits the entire credit score. I feel our guys round him at the offense, the remainder of our training body of workers would say that Odell merits the entire credit score for purchasing in and being a important think about our luck from the time he were given right here.”
Beckham persevered to give a contribution to the Rams’ luck within the Super Bowl, catching two passes for 52 yards and a landing ahead of crumpling to the turf overdue in the second one quarter with what grew to become out to be a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The damage was once a significant setback on the time, particularly since he had torn the similar ACL in October 2020, whilst with the Browns, however now his absence from an NFL roster will change into a chance. Beckham is a unfastened agent with a listing of possible suitors able to pursue him. That contains the Buccaneers, Packers, Bills and Chiefs, in keeping with NFL.com.
It would make sense so as to add a minimum of yet one more group to the record: The Vikings.
If you start to attach the dots in this one it’s greater than reckless hypothesis to return to the belief that the Vikings would have passion in Beckham and he, in flip, would reciprocate that. Why?
- The O’Connell connection. Clearly, he had a excellent courting with the Vikings’ trainer and, extra importantly, he had luck enjoying in a device from which O’Connell has borrowed closely in Minnesota.
- Beckham has quite a few buddies in a Vikings locker room that incorporates fellow LSU alums Danielle Hunter, Ed Ingram, Patrick Peterson and, most significantly, Pro Bowl receiver Justin Jefferson. Jefferson has mentioned that he and Beckham are “like brothers” and Jefferson even wore a “Free Odell” sweatshirt ahead of a sport remaining season as Beckham was once having a look to get out of Cleveland. You assume Jefferson hasn’t been in common touch with Beckham of overdue?
- The Vikings are off to a 5-1 get started, however it’s transparent O’Connell’s offense isn’t as explosive as he would really like. Beckham may lend a hand exchange that and likewise create extra alternatives towards defenses which might be incessantly hyper-focused on Jefferson. Adam Thielen stays a competent goal for Kirk Cousins, however he’s averaging a career-low 9.8 yards in line with catch. Last season, in 14 video games between the Browns and Rams, Beckham averaged 12.2 yards in line with reception. Third huge receiver, Ok.J. Osborn, hasn’t contributed up to some anticipated and tight finish Irv Smith Jr., has been inconsistent.
- The Vikings play their house video games indoors, because the Rams do at SoFi Stadium. Beckham seven-plus seasons with the Giants and Browns outdoor and becoming a member of a group comparable to Buffalo or Green Bay, overdue within the season, is probably not his best choice.
Beckham, 29, would include dangers that transcend his knee problems. He hasn’t ever been afraid to specific himself when issues aren’t going as he would really like and Cousins’ conservative nature within the passing sport would possibly get on his nerves.
The counter to this is O’Connell and Jefferson’s presence may move some distance towards protecting Beckham glad. And if Jefferson is still the point of interest of double-teams, Beckham may turn into the kind of goal he did for Matthew Stafford remaining season as groups targeting Cooper Kupp. That didn’t prevent Kupp from excelling however it indubitably created alternatives for Beckham.
The Vikings’ largest impediment in creating a pitch for OBJ can be a loss of salary-cap house. They are recently remaining within the league with simplest $358,261 to be had however cap guru Rob Brzezinski may transfer sufficient cash round to make one thing paintings, particularly if Beckham needs to be right here. Could or would the Vikings give Beckham a multiyear contract? That continues to be noticed.
The NFL’s site reported remaining week that Beckham was once focused on the center of November for his go back to the sphere, that means his signing isn’t most likely till after the Nov. 1 NFL industry cut-off date, and ESPN reviews that Beckham most likely received’t be to be had to play till round mid-December.
But as he proved together with his efficiency within the postseason, Beckham’s price can come within the largest video games and having him enjoying along Jefferson may put a grin on O’Connell’s face, to not point out a couple of concepts into his head about play calls he recently isn’t the use of.
Does any of this imply that Beckham shall be dressed in crimson and gold for the primary time since he left LSU? No. Does it imply the items might be in position for it to occur? Absolutely.
Judd Zulgad is co-host of the Purple Daily Podcast and Mackey & Judd podcast at www.skornorth.com