Odell Beckham Jr. has long been linked to the New England Patriots. It has been a dream of his to play under head coach Bill Belichick and to have Tom Brady as his quarterback. Unfortunately, Brady is no longer on the Patriots—and no longer in the NFL, for that matter. However, Belichick is still running things in New England and might be looking to add some premier talent on the outside to help the growth of Mac Jones. While acknowledging that Beckham Jr. is a Pro-Bowl-level talent, the question persists whether adding Beckham Jr. is even worth it financially. Additionally, if adding a wide receiver is one of Belichick’s top priorities, should the Patriots look at Beckham Jr. as the main target or should their attention be elsewhere (Calvin Ridley)? https://twitter.com/DakRandallNESN/status/1490824615031050242 Beckham Jr. has had an eventful season, to say the least. By Week 4, Beckham Jr. was a forgotten commodity, subdued to underthrows from Baker Mayfield and being lost in a stagnant Cleveland Browns offense. Now, Beckham Jr., the walking highlight reel, is a featured part of one of the more dynamic offenses in the entire NFL and one win away from hoisting the ever so elusive Lombardi Trophy. Beckham Jr. was traded for a first-round pick, a third-round pick, and Jabrill Peppers back in March of 2019 in a deal between his original team, the New York Giants, and the Browns. At that time, he was thought of as a consensus top-five wide receiver in the entire NFL with unlimited potential. However, his time in Cleveland was anything but spectacular. In his 29 games as a Brown, Beckham Jr. averaged 54.7 receiving yards, 3.9 receptions, and 0.2 touchdowns per contest. Many thought that this would signal the end of his career as a prolific receiver and even as a viable catching option. However, his time in L.A. has proved all critics wrong. For a player that many critics lauded as selfish, Beckham Jr. finds ways to help his team win and steps up during must-win games. In the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, Beckham Jr. put up nine catches for 113 yards. https://twitter.com/luchvain/status/1491524147398258688
Market ValueLast summer, the wide receiver free-agent class was home to some of the more grotesque contracts in recent memory. Hindsight is 20/20, but Kenny Golladay signing for $72 million over four years is still appalling however you want to look at it. Curtis Samuel and Corey Davis were both wide receivers from that free-agent class that signed long-term deals over the 2021 offseason window. Davis got $37.5 million over three years and Samuel got a similar deal for $34.5 million over three years. Beckham Jr. has illustrated that he could still be a better pass-catching option than both Davis and Samuel. However, Beckham Jr. is 29 and will be 30 by next season. Age plays a factor, especially if Belichick is trying to match up timelines with Jones and his window of contention. Spotrac currently estimates Beckham Jr.’s market value to be around $26 million over two years. This leaves the Patriots in a precarious situation since they are estimated to have only around $10 million in cap space for this upcoming free agency window. Of course, New England can move around contracts and clear up some space if Beckham Jr. becomes a top priority.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s fit with PatriotsThe Patriots recently hired Joe Judge to come back as an offensive assistant. It is still unclear who will be calling the plays for the Patriots given the recent departure of Josh McDaniels. Regardless of who is calling plays, the Patriots will look to employ a more dynamic passing attack than they showed last season with McDaniels. The Patriots ranked 14th in passing yards per game, and against playoff-caliber opponents, they struggled to find any consistent rhythm through the air. Adding a dynamic playmaker on the outside will be one of New England’s top priorities this offseason, as it should be. Beckham Jr. certainly helps the Patriots offense, and any help on the outside should be pursued. However, from an age and cap perspective, there are better routes for the Patriots to acquire help in the wide receiver department.
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