It’s March, so naturally, the Odell Beckham Jr. rumor mill is heating up, with speculation circulating about the polarizing pass-catcher’s future with the Cleveland Browns.
The latest bit of news on Beckham comes from FS1’s Nick Wright, who said the 28-year-old receiver is “there for the taking” and that pairing him with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay would be a “statement” move by the Packers.
“Odell Beckham Jr. is there for the taking. If the Packers want to make a statement, they call up Cleveland, offer Cleveland their first-round pick and they get Odell Beckham Jr,” Wright ranted on First Things First on Wednesday. “Odell is on an incredibly reasonable contract. And if he’s not in Cleveland, I can tell you he would not be displeased to be traded to Green Bay, despite the weather and the market. And that is a way to show Aaron Rodgers we are all in on you for however much time you have left.”
A “reasonable contract” might be a bit of an overstatement by Wright, who did not acknowledge the Packers are already dealing with cap issues without Beckham’s $15-plus million cap hit on the books. That’d be more than $30 million at the wide receiver position when you factor in that Davante Adams carries a cap hit of $16.7 million next season. That’s also not considering that the Packers are already more than $8 million over the salary cap for next season, per Spotrac.
So, while it’s fun to talk about getting Rodgers another explosive weapon to work with in Beckham, it’s not a feasible idea from a financial standpoint for the Packers unless they make some major moves.
Browns Looking to ‘Make It Work’ With Beckham
What makes trading Beckham a challenge is not only his salary, but also the fact that he’s coming back from an ACL tear. Prior to the injury, Beckham tallied 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns, also adding a rushing score.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski joined the Keyshawn, Will and Zubin show last week and said it was his job to make it work with Beckham and his fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who is due a $13.2 million salary next season.
“Ultimately as coaches, we’ll make it work with whatever we go to,” Stefanski said. “And I say that because sometimes you have a season, I’ve been a part of some teams in the past where you had four great receivers, so you molded your offense to that, or you had three great tight ends, and you molded your offense to that. So that’s our job as coaches to take what we have on our roster and make sure we’re maximizing everybody’s talents.”
The statement from Stefanski was just another occasion where either he or general manager Andrew Berry rejected reports that the team was considering parting ways with Beckham.
Analyst: Best if Browns ‘Move on’ From Odell Beckham
Not everyone is convinced that Beckham staying in Cleveland is the right move for either side. Former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall thinks it’s best if Beckham and the Browns go their separate ways.
“Go get what you can [for] Odell,” Marshall said on First Things First. “Take that piece, add it to the defensive side. Maybe draft some speed at the wide receiver position.
“I would move on definitely if I’m Odell Beckham Jr.,” Marshall continued. “You gotta get your career back on track. Go get you a quarterback that understands your body language and how you play football and wants to get you the ball.”
Beckham has never once asked for a ticket out of Cleveland despite his production waning in recent years. For the most part, he’s been a model teammate and has shown that he’s willing to do whatever is asked to be on a winning team.
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