Green Bay Packers miss out on free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who will instead join Rams
GREEN BAY - So everyone can now exhale: The Green Bay Packers will not be bolstering their wide receiver corps with free agent Odell Beckham Jr., who instead will be signing with the Los Angeles Rams.
After narrowing his choices down to the Packers and Rams, Beckham decided Thursday to join the Rams, according to multiple reports. The Rams then confirmed on their website:
The former Cleveland Browns receiver cleared waiver wires at 3 p.m. CST on Tuesday. At that point, he became a free agent and was allowed to sign with the team of his choice, for the first time in his seven-and-a-half year career.
The Packers were quickly identified as one of the main pursuers of Beckham, with receiver Davante Adams saying he was lobbying him to sign with Green Bay.
Beckham and the Rams will visit Lambeau Field for a Nov. 28 game against the Packers.
Beckham was selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the New York Giants. He spent five seasons with the Giants and had a career year in 2015, hauling in 96 receptions for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns, the latter two career highs.
Beckham spent most of 2017 on injured reserve before putting together a comeback season in 2018 with 77 receptions for another thousand-yard year (1,052 yards) and six touchdowns. Beckham still owns a litany of Giants rookie records.
Ahead of the 2019 season, Beckham was sent to the Cleveland Browns in a trade. After a tumultuous relationship with New York media and fans, the trade was billed as an opportunity for a fresh start for Beckham. In three seasons (albeit only 29 games), Beckham accumulated 114 receptions for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns, while also adding his first career rushing touchdown.
Yet by the time Beckham was released from the Browns, the relationship had soured, thanks in large part to a video posted on social media by Beckham’s father, Odell Beckham Sr. The 11-minute video consisted of Beckham Sr. pointing out all the times he felt his son was open, yet didn’t get a look from Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield.
With the writing on the wall, Beckham began making it known he was ready to sign with another team. Particularly, he let it be known he wanted to sign with “a contender.” At 7-2 and at the top of the NFC North entering the weekend, Green Bay fit that bill.
In Green Bay, Beckham is infamous for punching a hole in the wall outside the Lambeau Field visitors locker room after the Packers beat the Giants in a 2016 playoff game.
The Packers' wide receiver unit is highlighted by Adams, who is consistently in the top four of every major receiving category in the league other than touchdowns. Adams leads the Packers, averaging 98.3 receiving yards per game. Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling round out the unit.
Valdes-Scantling missed five games with a hamstring injury before returning this past Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers found themselves in a precarious situation two weeks ago when both Adams and Lazard were sidelined under COVID-19 protocols.
Beckham has tumbled down depth charts over the course of his career, to go from being a WR1 to a rotational player.