Super Bowl Champion Reveals He ‘Plans to Talk’ With Ravens

Odell Beckham Jr.

Getty A Super Bowl champion who's still a free agent will talk to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Baltimore Ravens haven’t yet solved their Lamar Jackson problem, but signing a Super Bowl champion in free agency wouldn’t hurt their chances. Fortunately, Odell Beckham Jr. told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson he “plans to talk to at least the Ravens.”

The veteran wide receiver revealed his plans upon his arrival at the annual NFL owners meeting. He’s still on the veteran market, so the 30-year-old who hasn’t played since helping the Los Angeles Rams win Super Bowl LVI, has the opportunity to meet with decision makers from a host of interested teams.

One of those keen parties who won’t meet with Beckham is the New York Giants, according to SNYtv’s Connor Hughes:

Having one less suitor to compete with might be good news for the Ravens. Yet, even signing a receiver with Beckham’s pedigree may not be enough to induce Jackson into signing a new long-term contract, nor sway the franchise quarterback from seeking a trade.

Ravens Need a Superstar Wide Receiver

While a team like the Giants has done enough not to have to scramble for Beckham’s services, it’s a different story for the Ravens. Instead, this is a franchise seemingly forever beset by a lack of star power at receiver.

Beckham’s arrival would finally solve the problem, even if the three-time Pro-Bowler is past his best. As ESPN’s Matt Bowen put it, “Beckham has lost some of the explosion that made him one of the NFL’s most dynamic players a few years ago.”

Much of the decline is understandable since OBJ tore his left ACL for the second time in his career when the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in the Super Bowl. It was a bittersweet day for Beckham, who began the game by catching a 17-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring:

The grab capped a prolific spell with the Rams, for whom Beckham scored seven touchdowns after being traded by the Cleveland Browns midway through the 2021 season. OBJ’s score against the Bengals also offered a reminder of his varied route-running ability and talent for getting open in the red zone.

Those are qualities the Ravens have lacked from their wideouts for too long. It’s a problem the franchise has been rather slow about solving, with the one-year deal given to New England Patriots’ castoff Nelson Agholor the latest low-key attempt to add a playmaker to the position.

Ravens Can Offer Odell Beckham Jr. the Right Scheme

Too often the Ravens have been content to get by with unproven youngsters or recycled veterans like DeSean Jackson and Sammy Watkins. Beckham arguably fits in the latter category, but he’ll have more to offer in the right scheme.

The optimum system can be offered by new Ravens’ offensive coordinator Todd Monken. He served as Beckham’s OC with the Browns in 2019, the last time OBJ recorded a 1,000-yard season.

Receivers eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark have been a common occurrence whenever Monken has called plays in the pros, per The Ravens Wire’s Kevin Oestreicher:

Monken’s track record will surely appeal to Beckham while he sets about choosing his next destination. It might also give fresh hope Jackson can be won over this offseason.

He’s still adorned with the non-exclusive franchise tag, but there was nothing coincidental about Baltimore’s disgruntled QB1 tweeting he’d asked for a trade on March 2. He made the revelation at the precise moment head coach John Harbaugh was about to address reporters at the owners meeting.

The Ravens want Jackson to stay put, at least for this season, but the chances of it happening appear slim. Putting in the right framework to help him progress as a passer is one obvious incentive at the team’s disposal.

Monken replacing Greg Roman as coordinator can be read as step one. Signing Beckham would be the necessary second step.

It’s a decision general manager Eric DeCosta shouldn’t delay. Not when he still has $6,973,427 at his disposal under the salary cap, according to Enough to offer Beckham a lucrative one-year deal.

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