Packers Make Contract Offer to Odell Beckham Jr.: Report

OBJ Packers Offer

Getty Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns looks on prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Odell Beckham Jr.’s interest in the Green Bay Packers is now mutual.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers have offered Beckham a free-agent contract worth the veteran minimum as the former Cleveland Browns star receiver continues weighing his options on the open market. Silverstein also noted the Packers could potentially up their offer if necessary, but the team is a little restricted with only about $4.6 million in cap space left for the year.

Beckham has finished with more than 1,000 receiving yards in five of his eight previous seasons in the NFL, including twice in the past three years. He made 17 receptions for 232 yards in his six games this season for the Browns after missing the first two games recovering from an ACL tear that wiped out the majority of his 2020 season.

The Packers would finally have a legitimate No. 2 receiver to pair with Davante Adams if Beckham signed with the team, giving Aaron Rodgers several dynamic options to choose from in the passing game. They also have fourth-year speedster Marquez Valdes-Scantling, veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb, big-bodied playmaker Allen Lazard and third-round rookie Amari Rodgers to consider for roles as pass-catcher.

The Packers would not need to clear a space for Beckham on their 53-man roster if he were signed, as there are currently two openings.

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Beckham Also Considering Chiefs & Saints

According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Beckham is “honing on” on three different teams one day after clearing waivers and becoming an unrestricted free agent, including the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints in addition to the Packers. All three teams would give Beckham the chance to play for a postseason contender, which — based on a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter — is what the veteran wideout is seeking.

On the surface, the Packers would seem to have an edge in terms of getting Beckham what he wants. While the Saints and Chiefs are each still trying to capture the lead in their divisions and may be forced to contend for a wild-card spot in the playoffs, the Packers are confidently perched at the top of the NFC North and are more than three games ahead of each of their rivals. Things could take a turn for the worst, but right now Green Bay seems likely to make the playoffs for a second straight season.

The Packers also technically have an edge when it comes to cap space; though, their options are much more limited than the Chiefs and Saints. Each of Beckham’s other suitors has less current cap space than the Packers, but both also have options for working the cap in their favor and making higher bids for him, according to the cap numbers listed with Over The Cap.

Meanwhile, the Packers have mostly exhausted all of their options to create cap space after an offseason filled with contract restructures for the majority of their veterans. Adams, their star receiver, is the only veteran contract that could be realistically altered at this point, but he would have to agree to any changes and would likely not be compelled to do so given he will become a free agent in March and is seeking to become the league’s highest-paid wide receiver.

Extending Adams Should Take Priority for Packers

While adding someone like Beckham would be an upgrade for the offense, the Packers’ top priority for their receiving room is — and should be — locking down Adams on a multi-year contract extension that keeps him in Green Bay for the foreseeable future.

The Packers and Adams engaged in extension discussions during the 2021 offseason, but the 28-year-old wideout broke off talks in late July after both sides were unable to see eye-to-eye on the value of a potential extension. Based on what Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said around that time, the disagreement between them was not about whether Adams deserves to be the league’s highest-paid receiver — they both agree on that — but rather how much that should

“I think a little bit with that particular situation is how you interpret what the highest wide receiver in the National Football League is getting paid,” Gutekunst said on July 29. “I agree with him that he’s definitely worth that, and we believe that as well (as an organization). I think there might just be a little bit of a difference in what we believe is the highest-paid wide receiver and what he believes.”

Currently, the highest-paid receiver in the NFL is DeAndre Hopkins after he signed a two-year, $54 million extension upon getting traded to the Arizona Cardinals in 2020. That would equate to an average annual value of $27.5 million, but the short length of Hopkins’ deal may compel the Packers to base their offer on some of the other top-earning receivers attached to bigger deals. For example, Julio Jones is the next-highest-paid at $22 million annually with Keenan Allen shortly behind him at $20.025 million, but both are signed to deals of three or more seasons.

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