After adding pass-rusher Von Miller and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to their roster in 2021, the Los Angeles Rams ended their season by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The Buffalo Bills, who are currently the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl, have already signed Miller and there is plenty of smoke regarding Beckham following suit.
The source of the rumblings? Von Miller.
Miller has planted seeds on social media about reuniting with Beckham in Buffalo and recently went on The Pat McAfee Show where he was very specific about the possibility.
“The door is open for Odell to come to the Buffalo Bills and him coming to Buffalo would really put us over the top,” said Miller. “Odell cares about being loved. Just like any other pro athlete, you want to be loved where you go and Bills Mafia is going to embrace him with open arms. We’re gonna feed him the ball. Josh Allen is just going to add another weapon. “You got Diggs, you got Isaiah, you got Gabe Davis & Odell Beckham…”
The tone and specificity in which Miller spoke on the potential of Beckham coming to Buffalo make this impossible to ignore. Miller and Beckham are close friends and Miller appears to be on a recruiting mission to draw Beckham to Buffalo, much like Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen did when Miller was sorting through his options in free agency.
— Greg Vorse TV (@GregVorse) August 11, 2022
A few weeks ago, Bills general manager Brandon Beane shared, “There’s some free agents out there that have been rehabbing, that have gone through injuries and we’ve been in contact with their agents.”
After suffering an ACL tear during the Super Bowl in February, Beckham firmly fits Beane’s description.
With the plot thickening, it begs the question—should the Bills pursue Beckham?
While the Bills have a receiving corps that features Diggs, Jamison Crowder, and rookie Khalil Shakir with expected breakout weapons in Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie, the reality is Buffalo could use more depth with outside receivers. The unit is loaded with ideal slot receivers, but Beckham would provide a notable boost to the weapons on the outside.
The Bills have boasted a top-nine passing offense in each of the past two seasons (No. 3 in 2020) with a significant amount of that production coming through wide receivers. If you account for only production through receivers, the Bills have been prolific relative to the rest of the league.
- 2020: 312 receptions (1), 3,897 yards (1), 28 touchdowns (4)
- 2021: 284 receptions (2), 3,299 yards (5), 22 touchdowns (8)
It’s abundantly clear that Allen likes throwing the football to wide receivers, especially when you consider how little production Buffalo has received from running backs and tight ends in the passing game despite managing top-tier production.
After taking in two days of Bills’ training camp practices this week, it’s clear that receivers are still going to be a major piece to the offensive puzzle for Buffalo. Despite a change at offensive coordinator with Ken Dorsey replacing Brian Daboll, the Bills’ offense still featured a significant amount of three and four-wide-receiver sets.
What’s the downside to adding Beckham? Allen likes throwing to receivers, and while Buffalo has options, there’s a degree of projection to account for when it comes to Davis and McKenzie in more prominent roles in the offense after being the fifth and sixth options a year ago.
The challenge with Beckham coming to Buffalo is his injury status. The normal recovery from an ACL tear is 9-12 months, which would put his availability in doubt until later in the season. In addition, the CBA guarantees a player’s salary if they have four or more years of service and are on the Week 1 roster. That makes it unlikely that any team would sign Beckham at this point, but he should have plenty of suitors as the inevitable attrition of the NFL season lines up with Beckham’s availability.
When the timing makes sense for Beckham to sign with his next team, he could pair with Miller to put Buffalo over the top as they did in LA.
- Oct 05, 2022
- Oct 05, 2022