With the news of the Cleveland Browns planning to release Odell Beckham on Friday per Pro Football Talk, it only makes sense that people will begin to zero in on the NOLA Saints as a possible destination for the wide receiver.
After all, Beckham is from New Orleans, having attended Isidore Newman for high school and then not traveling far for his LSU collegiate years. The ties to Lousiana are there for Beckham, who turned 29 on Friday.
While all of that makes sense, there are far more reasons why Beckham joining the Saints isn’t likely. This is all assuming that the Browns do indeed release him. Per PFT:
"The move is expected to be accompanied by a revised contract that reduces the team’s obligation to pay Beckham, if he’s not claimed on waivers and becomes eligible for the balance of his salary termination pay. The challenge for Beckham becomes not making the reduced salary so low that someone claims the contract on waivers."
It’s doubtful that NOLA Saints can actually land Odell Beckham Jr.
First, OBJ would have to clear waivers. With the amount of money he’s due, it wouldn’t be ridiculous for him to clear waivers, which if he does, he’s then free to sign with whoever he wants.
The Saints certainly won’t claim Beckham off waivers, as they’d then be on the hook for the remainder of what he’s owed, so this is something else that works against them. They don’t have the money to dish out right now, as they’re in cap hell at the moment and have been for quite some time.
Second, say the Saints were a strong contender to sign the former LSU talent — Would he really want to come to a team that just lost their starting quarterback for the season? The Jameis Winston injury was already cruel in so many ways but the timing on it couldn’t have been worse as far as potentially landing OBJ is concerned.
Third, there are going to be teams who simply want/need OBJ more than the New Orleans Saints do. The Las Vegas Raiders have also been listed as a team who’s “displayed interest” in OBJ and if there’s a team with a bigger need for him than the Saints, it’s the Raiders.
Yes, the Saints need help at wide receiver but they should have taken care of that problem before the trade deadline. Heck, they should have taken care of that problem last April during the draft instead of taking a defensive end with their first-round pick and they shouldn’t have waited until the final round to draft a wide receiver. They only have themselves to blame for their lack of wide receiver talent.
It might not be a bad thing if OBJ ends up with another team honestly. He’s been a drama king since entering the league in 2014 and this week was further proof that he’s never satisfied unless he’s the center of attention. The Saints don’t need that kind of distraction right now.
Oh, and I didn’t even mention that Beckham isn’t anywhere close to being the same kind of receiver he once was when he was with the Giants. He’s appeared in just 13 games over the past two years and injuries have taken their toll on him for sure.
While the Saints seem like an obvious landing spot for Odell Beckham Jr., I wouldn’t bank on it happening.