The Dallas Cowboys are apparently in the running for free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but not everyone wants the pass-catcher on the roster.
The free agency sweepstakes for Beckham has been a major talking point all season as the 30-year-old receiver recovers from a torn ACL. Now that he’s cleared and the Cowboys have been reported to be pursuing his signature, the buzz is reaching its climax.
But Blogging the Boys writer Dan Rogers thinks Dallas needs to think twice before spending the cash on Odell. A key part of Rogers’ argument is asking readers to remember that Beckham’s value was in the gutter a year ago, but he is now one of the most sought-after NFL weapons.
“A year ago this time, Beckham Jr. was outright released from the Cleveland Browns,” Rogers writes. “They got absolutely nothing for him. The Browns felt they were a better team without him. Then, he was in little demand as he only signed a one-year deal worth $1.25 million with the Los Angeles Rams. So, let’s be clear. Nobody was seeing this guy as a huge value to their team.”
It’s a fair point, but Beckham’s performances with the Rams were strong enough that it is simply impossible to not consider him in the Cowboys’ position.
Odell Reignites Career with Rams
OBJ’s resume needs little introduction, as he was an instant star in the league as a rookie with the New York Giants. However, injuries and a move to the Browns has meant that the former LSU Tiger has not earned a Pro Bowl honor or All-Pro honor since 2016.
His time in Cleveland was a major disappointment for all involved. Pro Football Reference shows that he totaled just 1586 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 29 games for the Browns. When you look back at his 2015 season (1450 receiving yards and 13 TDs in 15 games,) it’s clear there was a major drop in production.
As Rogers mentions, OBJ was released last season and the Rams swooped in with a minimal deal, which paid off as well as they could hope. In 12 total games, Beckham totaled 593 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, a large chunk of that coming in must-win games late in the regular season or in the playoffs.
The Cowboys are desperate for playoff success. In terms of guys getting it done in the postseason, Beckham was a major factor to the Rams’ run to a Super Bowl title.
Cowboys May Be in ‘Bidding War’
While Beckham makes sense in several ways for the Cowboys, he could end up costing a pretty penny. As Rogers mentions, “recency bias” has driven OBJ’s value up and Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer has reported that a bidding war is about to be underway.
However, it doesn’t really matter what the price is driven up to. Beckham will more than likely sign a half-year deal and become a free agent again in 2022. Signing the 30-year-old on that type of deal doesn’t affect the future cap, and Dallas can’t take their $8.55 million in cap space with them into next season.
There can be conversations about if signing OBJ is “good value,” but owner Jerry Jones and the Cowboys are looking to win now. In terms of the free agency weapons available, Beckham is by far and away the best one Dallas can bring in.