Ravens’ $16 Million Star Trashed as ‘Odell Beckham 2.0’

Odell Beckham Jr.

Getty The Baltimore Ravens new $16-million star has been trashed as "Odell Beckham 2.0."

The Baltimore Ravens didn’t win the offseason when they signed Derrick Henry, not if he’s just another version of Odell Beckham Jr.

That’s what Ben Maller of Fox Sports Radio believes. He trashed the Ravens handing a two-year deal worth $16 million to a running back “whose best days are in the rearview mirror.”

Instead of being the last piece of a Super Bowl puzzle for the Ravens, Maller is convinced acquiring Henry “has the vibes of Odell Beckham. Remember last year? The Ravens won the offseason last year because they got Odell Beckham? I remember that. I’m old enough to remember that. Odell Beckham 2.0, Derrick Henry. Prove me wrong, prove me wrong!”

The comparison to Beckham is an unflattering one for Henry. OBJ signed a one-year contract worth $15 million in 2023, but the Ravens are already moving on from the veteran receiver after mediocre production.

Beckham’s issues, being 30-plus and having dealt with plenty of wear and tear in the pros, are the same reasons to doubt Henry. The All-Pro running back has already sent a warning to his critics, but Henry has a lot to prove to show he’s still the dynamic force who went to four Pro Bowls as a member of the Tennessee Titans.

Henry can start by convincing his doubters he hasn’t been worn down by too many carries and more than enough hits.

Critics Believe Derrick Henry Has Too Many Miles on the Clock

Maller likened Henry to a “Cherry red Lamborghini that looks great, just pops.” The problem, according to Maller, is “then you look at the odometer and you’re like, ‘there’s 300,000 miles on this thing. 300,000 miles!’ That is essentially what is going on here for Derrick Henry.”

Henry’s heavy usage throughout his career is a “relevant concern,” but “Gridiron Gals” co-host Reeta Hubbard told 105.7 The Fan’s Inside Access: “What we’re not going to do is act like older models with 150,000 miles on it are all bad. Depending on the model, sometimes it still runs great, and maybe that’s the case for Derrick Henry.”

How much tread Henry has left on the tyres is a legitimate worry. Especially when he’s taken over 300 carries in three of the last six seasons.

Henry also averaged over two yards after contact per attempt in four of those years, per Pro Football Reference. Significantly, Henry’s tally in this area fell from 2.3 in 2022 to 2.1 last season, while he broke 12 fewer tackles in 2023 compared to the previous campaign.

If Henry is slowing down, the Raven just signed a playmaker who’ll be a shell of his former self. That’s what Beckham was during his lone season at M&T Bank Stadium.

Odell Beckham Jr. Couldn’t Live Up to the Hype

Beckham was supposed to be Baltimore’s WR1, but he was outplayed by rookie Zay Flowers. OBJ struggled to establish a rapport with Lamar Jackson, snagging just 35 of the franchise quarterback’s passes from 64 targets.

Targeting Beckham was a problem because he struggled to consistently gain separation. The wideout won on just 43.6 percent of his routes, including a modest 34.7 percent win rate against man coverage, according to Player Profiler.

Trying to rebound from tearing his left ACL for the second time in his career hampered Beckham’s chances to succeed. So did playing in an offense that was still run-first, even after Todd Monken replaced Greg Roman as coordinator.

The Ravens’ continued commitment to the run is good news for Henry. It’s not so good news the team has lost three starting offensive linemen, including veteran right tackle Morgan Moses and left guard John Simpson.

At least Henry gets to work alongside Jackson, forming a double act that’s dominated the league’s rushing charts at their respective positions, per NFL on CBS.

Jackson needs a title, and Henry is supposed to get the Ravens over the hump. If he can’t, Henry will soon be viewed as another attempted expensive quick fix Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta got wrong.

Read More