Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. cleared waivers on Tuesday, Nov. 9, and is finalizing a deal with the Los Angeles Rams, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting.
OBJ was released by the Cleveland Browns after failing to develop proper chemistry with starting quarterback Baker Mayfield. The situation between OBJ and Mayfield got so bad that OBJ’s father released a video detailing the instances his son was open and Mayfield failed to deliver him the football.
Among the teams that were interested in the services of the two-time All-Pro, the Rams came in late. The Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots were reported as the front-runners.
OBJ has made it clear he wants to spend the rest of the season on a contender and in a winning environment. The Rams are 7-2 and vying for the top spot in the NFC.
At 29, OBJ isn’t old. But this is football, and injuries and attrition take their toll on even the most finely tuned bodies. This will likely be the only time in his career where he can decide where he wants to play with the cachet of being a star level player. Though his recent production does not indicate star level.
This is also more than likely OBJ’s last chance for another significant payday. Terms of the deal have not yet been made available.
By performing well for the Rams he can show that the problem in Cleveland was mainly due to Mayfield and not any erosion of skill level on his part.
A strong finish to the season with good numbers, and being a good teammate combined with a potential deep Super Bowl run would make re-signing OBJ a no brainer.
This is the so-called “player empowerment” era in sports. Athletes supposedly have more control over where they work and the terms under which they work.
That’s a bit overstated.
In the NBA the superstar players certainly have a level of power and influence they can wield. But basketball is unique in that only five players play on any one side at a time. One player can have a tremendous impact on a team’s performance and fortune.
Football isn’t quite the same.
Yes, individual players can have huge impacts on the outcomes of a game. Having a franchise quarterback is essential if you hope to win a Super Bowl. But no matter how special an individual player is, the mantra is still “eleven as one.”
OBJ is indeed a special talent, but he needs to be in an environment and system that allows those talents to shine. He believes being in Los Angeles with the Rams is that environment.
The Rams are clearly going all in on a Super Bowl run. They’ve signed a number of high-end players in the last couple seasons and they have the “boy genius” in Sean McVay as head coach.
With the addition of OBJ the Rams might have the best receiving corps in the league. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has an embarrassment of riches at receiver with OBJ, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Van Jefferson.