Odell Beckham Jr found himself in a pretty unfortunate situation while chasing down an interception return earlier in the season. The resulting collision left OBJ in a heap on the turf, clutching at his knee… and in the days to come we’d learn that it was the fated torn ACL diagnosis and his season was over. So the question is… what next?
Fairytale in Cleveland
We all loved the story. The reuniting of two college best mates in the pro’s. Odell and Landry, both top prospects out of LSU, continued their friendship into the league, and when the chance came for the Browns to make a trade and bring Odell in to join Landry, they couldn’t turn it down.
In season one under Freddie Kitchens, it was frustrating to watch all the talent they had on offence go to waste. I maintain that Kitchens was an emotional hire, and the wrong one, and it ultimately cost John Dorsey his job as GM.
But Dorsey did do a great job of building a roster that could succeed in Cleveland. And when Kevin Stefanski came in, I thought if anybody was going to get the best out of this struggling offence, it would be him. His track record was great, and Case Keenum recorded his best season ever under the guidance of Stefanski in Minnesota.
Odell and the offence looked more composed this year. Baker was looking good. Odell had 319 yards and 3 touchdowns before he was injured against the Bengals in game 7. But the issue is, that nothing slid into turmoil without him.
Depth at the position
In the very game that Odell went down, Rashard Higgins had 110 yards on 6 catches. The Browns went on to win 5 of the remaining 7 games of the regular season, and last night took the rival Steelers out of the playoffs in the wild card round.
Without Odell, Landry, Higgins, recently signed in free agency tight end Austin Hooper and rookie Donovan Peoples Jones have had to step up. Plus with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the backfield, this offence hasn’t skipped a beat.
Considering the value of Odell Beckham Jr, and the fact that he might not be necessary to keep this Browns offence moving, I can see him moving on after two short seasons in Cleveland. He’s a star. The bright lights were forced upon him when he started doing crazy things in New York. I don’t believe him to be a diva, or to have a superstar attitude, but I do believe that he belongs in the spotlight, and that’s probably where you’d get the best out of him.
So if he moves on, and the Browns decide they’re better off getting the capital back on him, and a good draft pick or two, where would he go? I can think of three options.
Odell off to…
We love to speculate… it sparks conversation doesn’t it? It’s good for the soul. So here are my three ideas for Odell Beckham…
He needs a big city. A big modern young flourishing city that will allow Odell to be Odell in all his superstar glory. Or a heavily rooted football city. So rule out New England. Odell could be great there, but the Patriots have no reason to go after a superstar receiver right now, they’re not ready for that. And Boston isn’t the place Odell needs to be. He’s also not going to Detroit, because it’s Detroit and I simply can’t see it.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Packers are a brilliant team. Their consistency with Aaron Rodgers at the helm is without question, and Davante Adams has a great case for the best receiver in the league. Adams & Rodgers certainly have the best connection between two players right now. So why add Odell?
Because I’d like to see Odell go somewhere where he would essentially be the number two. We talked about this on a podcast last week, where a situation like Deandre Hopkins in Houston allows the likes of Will Fuller to really excel as the two. Odell could still be the guy off the field, and the media would swarm him as they always do. Sure he’d take heat for not getting 3000 yards and 57 touchdowns a season, but Rodgers and Adams with the addition of Odell coming across the field or one on one on the outside and I truly believe that Packers offence becomes unstoppable.
It would be in the interest of the Packers to get it done if they could. I know it’s Lambeau and it’s cold in Green Bay but I think the desire to win and a more mature, slightly older, invested Odell would be great there.
However, it’s a strong third on the list because it’s not the ideal scenario for Odell the person. Odell the player, yes sure, but Odell likes the sun and the hot weather and the party scene… which is not, exactly, Green Bay…
I think it’s important to note that I considered the notion of him returning to the Giants for a while.
‘But wait, he’s been there before? And New York also isn’t hot so where are you going with this contradiction boy?’
There’s only one place that ticks all the boxes for Odell the player AND for Odell the person. I’ll get to that. It isn’t New York
The Giants would just be such a great story. The QB situation needs work. Maybe the Giants address that in the coming draft, maybe they don’t. Maybe they still believe in the long term future of Daniel Jones. The issue is the lack of weapons, and that Odell and his superstar playmaking hasn’t been replicated in the big apple blue since he left. Darius Slayton is a solid receiver, as is Sterling Shepard when healthy, Evan Engram is great as a tight end, and Saquon Barkley is an elite back, but they’re missing that GUY at the receiver position.
Now I know the relationship is frayed, and this is purely speculation. But Odell has said amongst the disgruntled comments about his time in New York, that he never imagined himself winning a championship anywhere else. He’ll always be famous in New York, and maybe he left a little too early?
I was going to go with this as one of my choices, but after researching it and really looking into how Odell felt during his time there, I don’t believe it can be rescued, and the pressure would mount even more than it did the first time. Odell mentioned that he faced mental health battles, you can read that here.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The Niners have a long history of incredible talent at the receiver position. Jerry Rice. TO. Anquan Boldin. Dwight Clark. Could Odell be the next?
Odell in San Francisco. I can see it for some reason. They have Deebo Samuel, and the rookie Brandon Aiyuk who’s shown some great promise in a tricky year for the Niners. Deebo is the big body type, and Aiyuk is quick and a great fit for the slot. Kittle could be the best tight end in the league… Odell would fit brilliantly into that offence in my humble opinion, and if you give a weapon like that to Kyle Shanahan, i’d like to think he’d know exactly how to use it.
The QB situation is a little up in the air for San Fran, but if you added OBJ to the picture and took a look at how Jimmy G performed with a full arsenal, you’d know you did everything you could to help him reach his maximum potential.
A nice switch to the west coast for Odell, and an interesting opportunity to be great in San Francisco
And 1? The Miami Dolphins
This isn’t coming from a place of bias. Not at all. Odell likes the summer cities. LA, Tampa, Miami. Maybe even Houston at a push. But look at the teams I’ve just mentioned. LA have Kupp and Woods at the Rams, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams at the Chargers, mayyyyybe the Raiders could be an option? Perhaps. But I think what they’re missing is a big body jump ball type number one receiver. I can see Julio Jones fitting there. More that type of player.
There’s no room for Odell in Tampa either, but Miami? Miami is screaming out for receivers. Probably more than anything else and arguably more than any other team in the league. They have nearly everything else in place. A great defence. The big body to compliment Odell in Devante Parker/Preston Williams. Odell is literally exactly what the Dolphins need.
Okay you could make the argument that we should just spend the draft picks on rookie receivers and go that way, I’d understand that too. But Odell is already a star and when he’s on fire we know what he’s capable of. Giving someone like that to Tua all summer and allowing them to go to work would be nothing but great for what was a struggling Miami Dolphins offence, and I attribute a large chunk of that to the lack of weapons.
Miami is a fit for Odell the player. The perfect fit. And we know Odell loves Miami. Some might say he’s a distraction to the team and to himself, but I think that’s a myth. He’s older now. A more mature version of himself. I think it would be great for everybody.
Let us know your thoughts!
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