Will Odell Beckham Jr. be the most impactful free agent acquisition of 2023?
On Saturday, April 22nd, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr was in attendance to watch Baltimore native Gervonta “Tank” Davis shine under the bright lights as he knocked out Ryan Garcia in the 7th round. This upcoming fall, it will be Beckham’s time to shine as he looks forward to the opportunity of helping the Ravens excel to the next level.
The past few years, the Ravens have started the season in the conversation of being Super Bowl contenders, but injuries and the lack of a playmaker at the receiver position have been their offensive Achilles heel. The Ravens are hopeful in regards to correcting the issue by signing high profile free-agent Odell Beckham Jr.
The three-time pro bowler arrived in Baltimore for his introductory press conference on April 13th. Beckham verbalized his objective of providing leadership to the team and making a significant impact on offense from the wide receiver position.
Prior to signing with Baltimore, Beckham gave hints in regards to going to the New York Jets to join future hall-of-fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but Beckham made a surprise move on April 9th when he posted a picture of his son on social media wearing a Lamar Jackson jersey, as he confirmed his intentions of signing with the Baltimore Ravens.
The 30-year-old would go on to sign a one-year deal worth $18 million dollars, in which $15 million is guaranteed. The other $3 million are incentive-based, as Beckham can earn the additional monetary compensation if he gets 60 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns.
Back in 2014, the New York Giants used the 12th pick in the NFL Draft to select LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. In his first three years with the Giants, Beckham produced three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. In addition to the receiving yardage, Beckham also posted double-digit touchdowns in each season.
OBJ’s flashy style and his acrobatic catches made him one of the most popular wide receivers in the NFL. After spending five seasons with the New York Giants, Beckham was traded to the Cleveland Browns. He played in Cleveland from 2019 to 2021, then Odell Beckham Jr became a free agent and signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams.
In eight games, OBJ had 44 receptions for 537 receiving yards and five touchdowns. The Rams went to the playoffs, and in their NFC Championship victory over the San Francisco 49ers, OBJ caught nine passes for 113 yards. Two weeks later, the Rams became Super Bowl Champions as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by the score of 23-20.
Now Odell Beckham Jr is ready to start a new chapter in his career as he joins the Baltimore Ravens. Beckham is the odds-on favorite in regard to becoming the team’s go-to guy. The Ravens are hoping Beckham can be the number-one receiver and produce explosive plays, but his ability to provide that type of spark remains a question mark.
It’s unclear if Beckham will be the explosive player he’s been in the past due to the fact that he just recently recovered from his second ACL tear. As a member of the Cleveland Browns, Beckham suffered his first ACL tear in October 2020, and he had a second ACL injury while playing in the Super Bowl in February 2022.
When healthy, OBJ is one of the best wide receivers in the game, and if he’s 100 percent, Beckham could end up being the most impactful free agent signing of 2023. Lamar Jackson had a hand in recruiting Odell Beckham Jr, but Jackson gave Beckham no assurances regarding Jackson being the Ravens’ quarterback for the 2023 season.
However, on Thursday, April 27th, Lamar Jackson agreed to terms on a contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens. With the Ravens having Lamar back at quarterback, if OBJ has made a full recovery, then this could equate to the Ravens finally possessing a dangerously dynamic duo on the offensive side of the ball.