While fans have discussed the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver’s cozy reunion with first-year Vikings head coach and former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, Beckham has stayed quiet on his end and let his potential suitors do the talking.
Von Miller, who won a Super Bowl with Beckham and O’Connell in Los Angeles last season, has campaigned for Beckham Jr. to join the Buffalo Bills, while Travis Kelce has led the charge for Beckham’s prospects with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Both teams are Super Bowl contenders this season and could use another weapon approaching the playoffs — exactly what Beckham Jr. provided when he landed with the Rams in Week 10. He revitalized his career in Los Angeles, catching 48 passes for 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games.
However, Minnesota is emerging as a dark horse in the Beckham sweepstakes and just got some serious skin in the game after a recent report from a longtime NFL insider.
Vikings Have Had Inside Talks About Odell Beckham Jr.
On October 21, Outkick insider Armando Salguero, who covered the NFL and the Miami Dolphins for over 30 years, revealed the temperature check for Beckham’s services around the league.
Salguero reported that the usual suspects have had “internal discussions” about Beckham, but the Vikings are also in the mix.
“The Buffalo Bills have had internal discussions about Beckham Jr. The Kansas City Chiefs have. The Minnesota Vikings have,” Salguero wrote on October 21.
He also said the Rams, who are the betting favorites to land Beckham, have had “ongoing contact with Beckham in hopes of bringing him back.”
However, Beckham has expressed his frustration with his former team that hasn’t given him an offer.
“LA knows where I wanted to be… but they didn’t offer me…. ANYthing!” Beckham tweeted on October 12. “So (I don’t know) what people want me to do, I def (know) my worth and what the offer was isn’t reflective of that. So it’s tough to say that I can come on back even tho I thought I finally found that home!”
Beyond the Chiefs, Bills, Rams and Vikings, Salguero said most of the talk about acquiring Beckham has been largely outside noise from other organizations.
Salguero also noted the New York Giants have been discussed as potential players, “although that seems more a desire coming out of the locker room and not as much from the front office at this stage.”
Vikings Have the Ability to Afford Odell Beckham Jr.
Yes, the Vikings cannot afford Beckham at the moment — but with the push of a button Minnesota can clear up enough cap space to make an offer for the star receiver.
The Vikings currently have $862,928 in cap space, which is under the veteran minimum that Beckham is entitled to as a ninth-year veteran.
Beckham took a team-friendly deal of $1.25 million to Rams late last season — a price tag he took as a bet on himself after being released by the Cleveland Browns.
He proved his worth, but coming off an ACL injury, Beckham doesn’t have the ground to be asking for an excessive deal with his potential return expected to be with roughly a month left in the season.
Minnesota can create cap space by restructuring a few veteran contracts, most notably right tackle Brian O’Neill or Eric Kendricks that could shore up a few million dollars in cap space to make an offer for Beckham.
O’Neill’s deal, specifically, has clauses that would allow the team to move money around in his contract without asking.
“The simplest maneuver for them to create more space between now and Nov. 1 would be to convert a veteran player’s base salary to a signing bonus, which the Vikings could spread out over the final years of the player’s deal,” Star Tribune reporter Ben Goessling outlined. “This can be accomplished simply by notifying the player with a letter, and could make sense for a player like right tackle Brian O’Neill, who turned 27 last month, has allowed only three sacks since the beginning of 2021 and has $26 million guaranteed through 2024. O’Neill isn’t going anywhere in the near future, and the Vikings could clear up to $3.3 million in cap space by converting O’Neill’s base to a signing bonus, pushing just over $800,000 into each of the next four years.”