Rumors have connected the Indianapolis Colts to wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Julio Jones, both of whom are still available in free agency. But NFL writer Marc Sessler of NFL.com writes that the Colts should be targeting a different receiver.
In an article naming the top offseason priority remaining for each AFC team, Sessler proposed that the Colts should “explore the concept of Odell Beckham Jr.”
“With Matt Ryan at the motherboard, Indy looms as a potential tractor beam for Odell Beckham Jr., who is coming off the knee injury he suffered in the Super Bowl,” Sessler wrote. “The Rams are interested in bringing him back, but Beckham went out of his way in March to issue a glowing review of the Ryan acquisition.
“With more than enough cap space in a winnable AFC South, why not spend the requisite dead presidents to lure in a veteran pass-catcher who can mentor Pierce and add holy fire to Indy’s air attack?”
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Beckham’s Glowing Review of Matt Ryan Trade
If not for Beckham’s injury in the Super Bowl, maybe there would have been more rumors circling the last couple months about the three-time Pro Bowler possibly joining the Colts.
Beckham underwent successful surgery to repair his torn left ACL on February 22. He also had surgery on the same knee for the same injury in 2020.
NFL Insider Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said on The Pat McAfee Show on April 13 that the surgery went really well and “probably will extend his career.” Even still, there are questions about how quickly he will get back onto the field to make an impact this fall.
Digital content producer Jacob Camenker of The Sporting News projects Beckham won’t be back until November at the earliest.
If the Colts are seeking a veteran receiver to contribute from the beginning of this season, then Beckham is not the answer.
How Beckham Could Fit With the Colts
Sessler argued that depth is a concern at wide receiver for Indianapolis. While that may be true, that doesn’t mean Beckham is the right fit to address it.
Michael Pittman Jr. returns as the Colts’ top receiver after he experienced a breakout campaign last year. Indianapolis has Parris Campbell coming back in a contract year, and the Colts drafted Alec Pierce in the second round as well.
It doesn’t seem likely that the Colts will sign a veteran receiver that’s going to play instead of either Campbell or Pierce and not have that veteran receiver be available until after Halloween.
Beckham has been the leading receiver on just about every offense he’s been on in the NFL. That’s similar to Jones, who is another big-name free agent wideout.
Senior writer Stephen Holder of The Athletic reported on May 19 that Indianapolis has determined through an “internal decision” that Jones “is not a fit” for its roster. Presumably, that’s because a better fit for the Colts would be a shiftier slot receiver, and Jones has little experience in the slot during his NFL career.
Beckham has lined up in the slot more than Jones in his career, but it’s unclear if Beckham is willing to do it on a full-time basis and become a team’s No. 3 wideout option when he returns.
In eight NFL seasons, Beckham has posted 531 catches, 7367 yards and 56 touchdowns. He made three straight Pro Bowls to begin his career from 2014 to 2016.
During the final eight regular season games with the Los Angeles Rams last season, Beckham recorded 27 receptions, 305 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.