Lamar Jackson Responds to Odell Beckham to Baltimore Speculation

Ravens Odell Beckham

Getty Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson greets ex-Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. after a 2019 game.

After the Cleveland Browns released receiver Odell Beckham Jr. today, fans of the Baltimore Ravens immediately began calling for the star wideout to come to Baltimore, prompting a response from quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Fans began posting videos of Beckham and Jackson interacting after Ravens-Browns matchups in recent seasons, encouraging Baltimore’s franchise quarterback to recruit the two-time All-Pro receiver.

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Jackson certainly took note of the calls for Beckham to become a Raven and responded on Twitter, telling fans, “I can’t do nothing for y’all.

Baltimore was called Beckham’s “best landing spot” by Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus, which earned a co-sign from Ben Solak of The Ringer.

Betting odds from PFF currently have the Ravens as the second-most likely team to sign Beckham, with odds of +400 that are only behind the +350 odds of the Las Vegas Raiders.

But Ravens writer Ryan Mink doesn’t think that Beckham ends up in Baltimore, tweeting, “Hate to break it to you Ravens fans, but OBJ ain’t coming to Baltimore.”

He listed the Ravens’ limited salary cap space and already-deep wide receiving corps as reasons that Baltimore just doesn’t make sense as a destination for Beckham.

Former NBA Champ Weighs In

Retired NBA center Kendrick Perkins joined the growing chorus of fans and commentators who think Beckham would find success catching passes from Jackson in Baltimore.

Perkins, who won the 2008 NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics, quickly responded to news that the Browns were restructuring Beckham’s contract to minimize his cap hit.

This has implications for the Ravens’ chances at getting the former New York Giants receiver. Beckham’s more than $15 million cap hit would have been a nonstarter for Baltimore, but something closer to the veteran minimum that was reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler could fit in the Ravens’ salary cap.

Provided that the restructure goes through, ESPN’s Field Yates listed the Ravens as one of the “NFL teams that should consider claiming him on waivers.”

But Baltimore is 29th on the waiver priority list, meaning an affordable Beckham is likely to be claimed by at least one other team before the Ravens even have a shot at him.

Ravens Fans React to Rumors

Ravens fans are split on whether they want Beckham to come to Baltimore.

Some are excited at the prospect of adding Beckham to an already-talented group of wide receivers, including Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown.

But Brown’s breakout 2021, along with consistent play from veteran Sammy Watkins and a promising start from rookie Rashod Bateman, has many believing that Beckham would be surplus to requirements in Baltimore.

In past years, Ravens fans have clamored for the team to add a top-tier wide receiver, like Allen Robinson of the Chicago Bears, but this season’s success in the passing game indicates that such an acquisition is not necessary.

In fact, adding a star receiver like Beckham may put more pressure on the Ravens to roll out offensive sets with three wide receivers, but that may hinder a run game that’s already struggling due to offensive line injuries.

Fans also have concerns about the drama surrounding Beckham’s departure from Cleveland, which featured the wideout’s frustration that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield wasn’t targeting him enough.

But other have pointed out that Beckham and Jackson seem to have an existing friendship, so they may quickly develop chemistry in the same offense.

The Ravens, as usual, have remained tight-lipped about any Beckham to Baltimore rumors. They may attempt to claim him off waivers, but we won’t know where he’ll end up until Monday, when waiver claims will be processed and announced.