With just three games left in the regular season, the Green Bay Packers have yet to find a true No. 2 option in the passing game opposite star wide receiver Davante Adams. But the latest report from Fox Sports personality Skip Bayless suggests one of the best wideouts in the game is interested in catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.
CORRECTION: The previous version of this article listed Skip Bayless as an ESPN analyst. He’s currently with Fox Sports.
Bayless claimed Browns star Odell Beckham Jr. has privately suggested he would like to play for the Packers with Rodgers during Tuesday’s episode of “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” which comes amid multiple reports that Beckham is unhappy with his new team and is looking to make his first season in Cleveland his last.
While Beckham hasn’t outright told reporters he wants out in locker room chats, the former New York Giants superstar has expressed disappointment and frustration during his debut year with the Browns (6-7), who are already out of the AFC North race and are on the verge of being eliminated from postseason contention.
Cutting a deal for Beckham would be an obvious game-changer for the Packers as it would give them one of the NFL’s best wide receiver tandems if he were lining up opposite Davante Adams. With Rodgers under center and star running back Aaron Jones also manning the backfield, it is a high-caliber move that would almost certainly vault the Packers to the top of the pile as favorites to win next season’s Super Bowl.
Beckham has made 59 catches for 844 yards and two touchdowns this season for the Browns and is averaging a career-low 64.9 yards per game, coming dangerously close to finishing a healthy season with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his six-year career.
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Could OBJ Actually Land in Green Bay?
Take another minute to picture it: Beckham making athletic grabs on impossible throws from Rodgers in the end zone to the roar of the Lambeau home crowd.
Now, let’s snap back to reality.
Beckham is, of course, signed through the 2023 season after inking a massive extension prior to his trade from the Giants, making it more sensible for the Browns to try holding onto Beckham for at least another year until after the 2020 season — at which point, they have an out with no dead money involved.
Even if the Browns don’t want to trade him, Beckham could always follow the lead of other NFL stars (see: Antonio Brown) and talk his way to an early exit from Cleveland.
The Packers, though, don’t exactly have a ton of cap room to play with for the 2020 season with their projected $25.8 million making it difficult to imagine them absorbing Beckham’s $14.25 million contract in a trade with the Browns. A bevy of free-agent decisions on their own roster — including both of their primary inside linebackers — also complicates the picture.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst proved to be an unusually big spender during last year’s offseason, signing multi-year deals with offensive lineman Billy Turner, safety Adrian Amos and pass-rushers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smtih. Given how well each of them has worked out this season, it isn’t too crazy to think he could spend big again.
Just don’t count on it.