The Green Bay Packers say they aren’t looking to add any new weapons on offense, but a supreme talent remains available on the free agent market.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. probably isn’t going to help any roster until the second half of the 2022 regular season. But when he does return to the field, the three-time Pro Bowl pass catcher could be the last ingredient to a championship recipe, just as he proved to be last year for the Los Angeles Rams after forcing his way out of the Cleveland Browns organization.
Green Bay is already thin at the top end of its wide receiver room, and both rookie Christian Watson and veteran free agent Sammy Watkins numbered among the Packers players on the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list as training camp opened last week. Watkins returned to practice on Saturday, however.
Even if Beckham can’t help the team until the stretch run, he’s the kind of player who could put the Packers over the top playing alongside four-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and one of the better defenses in the entire league.
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Beckham Perfect Fit for Powerhouse Packers Roster
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report on Friday, July 29, named Beckham the best NFL player yet unsigned this offseason, even despite several more months of rehabilitation work to come. Among the top fits for Beckham around the league, Ballentine listed the Packers, the Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs.
To understand what Odell Beckham Jr. can bring to the table as a late addition free agent look no further than the 2021 playoffs.
OBJ emerged as a key component of the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl run. He had 21 catches on 26 targets for 288 yards and two touchdowns, giving Matt Stafford a reliable No. 2 receiver opposite Cooper Kupp. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in the Super Bowl, which is likely the reason he remains unsigned.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported on an episode of “Get Up” in June that it could be October or November before the receiver is 100 percent recovered from his injury. That leaves plenty of questions, but the teams [that] are interested in getting in the Beckham business are not the ones that care too much about winning games in September.
Instead, it’s the teams that have everything in place to make a Super Bowl push but could use one more playmaker. That includes his previous team but also a few others that could make sense as the season gets going.
Best Fits: Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs
Packers GM Says Team Not Looking to Add Veteran WR Help Just Yet
Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to media members on Wednesday and said the team is not currently in the market for another veteran wide receiver.
“I don’t think right now we’re really looking to add anything,” Gutekunst said. “I really like the group we have. I want to give those guys the opportunity to see what they can do.”
The words of NFL front office personnel, whether on the record or off, must frequently be taken with a grain of salt as the circulation of misleading information can serve a franchise’s purpose. That said, there is little reason at this juncture in the year for Gutekunst to be dishonest about his position on something like adding a veteran free agent wideout who has been unavailable for several months previous and won’t step onto the field for several months to come.
Beckham’s case is unique due to his injury, so bringing him in prior to training camp to learn the offense — like the Packers would with a healthy player — is less paramount should the team decide it actually wants to add Beckham to the roster.
However, just because Gutekunst isn’t in the receiver market in late July doesn’t mean he won’t be when the season kicks off in early September. Because of that, Beckham’s will remain a name to watch in Green Bay as the weeks progress.