It’s a good thing when fans and media like a trade from an NFL team. But it’s even better when a player likes it.
After sharing his opinion on the Matt Ryan trade early in the morning on March 22, it’s safe to say wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. really likes the deal for the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts acquired Ryan for a 2022 third-round pick on March 21.
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Matt Ryan to Be Philip Rivers 2.0?
While Ryan (37 years old) offers only a short-term solution at quarterback for the Colts, he has the potential to be as good as Rivers was during the 2020 season when he led Indianapolis to an 11-5 record and a postseason berth.
That has been Indianapolis’ only trip to the playoffs since Andrew Luck retired.
Rivers threw for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns with 11 interceptions during the 2020 season. The Colts ended the year with the 11th-most passing yards in the league.
Ryan had fewer yards and touchdowns last season with the Atlanta Falcons than Rivers in 2020, but he didn’t have much help around him. Atlanta allowed 40 sacks and finished 31st in rushing last season. The Falcons were also 26th in pass block win rate and 29th in run block win rate.
With 2021 leading rusher Jonathan Taylor and the Colts offensive line, Ryan appears to be heading to a better situation with the Colts. Even in the crowded AFC, Beckham implies that he sees them as a dangerous team going into the 2022 season.
Odell Beckham Jr. to the Colts?
With Beckham endorsing Indianapolis trading for Ryan, it’s fair to wonder if the three-time Pro Bowl receiver is interested in signing with the Colts. It’s even possible that the highly complimentary tweet was meant as a way for Beckham to place himself on general manager Chris Ballard’s radar.
While the Colts are strong at running back and remain relatively strong along the offensive line, Indianapolis has holes to fill at wide receiver. Behind emerging star wideout Michael Pittman, Zach Pascal was the team’s second-leading receiver last season, but Pascal only had 38 catches, 384 yards and three touchdowns.
Pascal had nearly 700 fewer receiving yards than Pittman in 2021.
Beckham posted 44 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns with the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns last season. Those numbers only tell half the story, as Beckham struggled in Cleveland and then rekindled his career after signing with the Rams.
In 12 games with the Rams, including the postseason, Beckham averaged four catches and 49.4 receiving yards per contest. He also had seven touchdowns.
That means signing Beckham could make Indianapolis’ cap situation tight if the organization desires to add any other players in free agency.
Beckham’s injury is also another factor to consider. The three-time Pro Bowler tore an ACL in the Super Bowl, which Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports predicts will cause him to miss “a sizable amount of the 2022 season.”
Diana Russini of ESPN reported on March 21 that the Colts stayed away from trading for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and ultimately added Ryan, because Indianapolis was concerned about Garoppolo’s shoulder injury. Nick Shook of NFL.com reported that Garoppolo underwent successful shoulder surgery on March 8.
If Garoppolo missing offseason workouts was a red flag for the Colts, then Beckham’s ACL tear likely will be too.
Regardless, the ACL tear will probably not stop the Beckham to the Colts speculation following the wide receiver’s highly complimentary tweet of the team’s new quarterback.