After an underwhelming two and a half seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been released by the team. The move is somewhat of a surprise, although the tension between Beckham and the Browns has been rising all season as Beckham has underperformed thus far. Beckham's release comes after a series of events earlier this week that included Beckham's father posting a video to social media highlighting multiple occasions this season where Beckham Jr. was open and Quarterback Baker Mayfield either didn't throw him the ball or threw him an inaccurate pass. As a result of the video and OBJ's silence, he was excused from Browns' practice on both Wednesday and Thursday. The Browns then announced on Friday that Beckham Jr. and the organization would be parting ways. Beckham's tenure in Cleveland come to an ugly and disappointing end in which OBJ recorded a meager one-thousand five-hundred and eighty-six yards and eight total touchdowns with the team. There's no doubt that Beckham still can be an elite wide receiver in the NFL, the only question remaining now is where Beckham will play.
1. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have one of the more slim receiving units in the NFL, even without the multiple injuries and positive Covid tests their receivers sustained before last Thursday’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. Through eight games, the Packers have been led in the receiving game by Davante Adams, as most expected. However, after Adams, there is a severe drop-off in the numbers from the other receivers on the roster. Adams currently leads the Packers in receptions with fifty-two and receiving yards with seven-hundred and forty-four. The second leading wide receiver in receptions and yards for the Packers is former Texan, Randall Cobb who’s recorded just seventeen receptions and one-hundred ninety-four yards. Although he’s tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with four. Furthermore, the Packers passing offense currently sits at twenty-third in passing yards per game. Considering the Packers have the reigning league MVP under center, it’s safe to say the problem in the passing game isn’t Aaron Rodgers. Odell Beckham Jr. would provide an extreme boost to the Packers' passing game and overall offensive attack. Beckham could step in right away and be the perfect number two option for Rodgers alongside Davante Adams. Adding a wideout as dangerous as OBJ could propel the Packers over the hump and get them back in the Super Bowl.
2. Baltimore Ravens
Although the Ravens are currently top ten in passing yards per game, the Ravens could still use more explosiveness at the receiver position. 2019 first-round pick Marquise Brown seems to be in the midst of a breakout year as he’s on pace to set new career highs in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns, but he, along with Mark Andrews can’t carry this team’s passing attack by themselves. The Ravens made efforts to improve their passing offense in the offseason by using one of their first-round picks on rookie Rashod Bateman and signing former first-round pick Sammy Watkins in free agency. Unfortunately for the Ravens, Bateman has only appeared in two games thus far due to issues with injuries and Watkins has not been an impact player, to say the least. Lamar Jackson has clearly shown his ability to be an elite passer along with his running skills, and it’s time the Ravens stopped using draft picks to get Lamar receivers and sign proven veterans like OBJ.
3. New Orleans Saints
The Saints have arguably one of the worst receiving units in the NFL, which became even weaker when former All-Pro Michael Thomas announced he will miss the remainder of the season. The Saints are currently 31st in the NFL in passing yards per game and just became weaker under center as well after losing Jameis Winston for the season to a torn ACL. But Quarterback play has not been the large issue for the Saints' lack of explosiveness in the passing attack. The lack of talent at receiver is what has hurt the Saints. Their current leader in receptions is Pro-Bowl running back Alvin Kamara, who has always played a large role in the Saints’ passing offense, however, their current leader in receiving yards is Marquez Callaway. Callaway has just under three hundred yards on the season (284) and nineteen receptions, the undrafted second-year receiver has certainly stepped up for the Saints in the absence of Michael Thomas. It’s pretty clear here why the Saints should be aggressive in pursuing OBJ and it’s important to note that the Saints were very aggressive around the trade deadline to find more help at the receiver position. Regardless of if it’s Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill under center, OBJ would be a huge addition for the Saints.
4. Las Vegas Raiders
After releasing second-year wide receiver Henry Ruggs III earlier this week after being charged with DUI resulting in death and reckless driving, the Raiders are slim at the receiver position. Slim as in they have four wide receivers currently listed on their depth chart. The Raiders are currently second in the NFL in passing yards per game with over three hundred yards (307.9), however, the release of Ruggs III will cause their passing game to take a hit. Luckily for the Raiders they still have one of the most talented Tight Ends in the league in Darren Waller, and young receivers Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards have both been productive for the Raiders. Nonetheless, the Raiders could use another explosive playmaker and run-after-catch threat like Odell Beckham on their offense. Beckham would come in for the Raiders and be the number one receiver on the depth chart right away and would be an incredible second option for Derek Carr who’s played very well thus far.
5. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have been derailed by injuries so far, including Pro-Bowl Quarterback Russell Wilson. Fortunately for Wilson and the Seahawks, he should be back in a few weeks. One bright spot from Seattle even though all the injuries they’ve faced has been the wide receiver position. Both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have surpassed the five-hundred-yard mark and have combined for eleven receiving touchdowns through eight games. Metcalf and Lockett have shined, but Seattle has struggled to find a dependable number three option in the passing game. Bringing in Odell Beckham would allow Seattle to potentially move Lockett to the slot while having Beckham and Metcalf on the outside if they were to sign him. The addition of OBJ and the return of Russell Wilson could catapult this Seahawks passing offense to one of the NFL’s best.
*All Stats & Info. from ESPN & FoxSports