Patriots And Former Pro-Bowl WR In Talks On Free-Agent Deal: Report

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The stars might finally be aligned for the New England Patriots and Odell Beckham Jr. Just a few months after the former NFL All-Pro suffered a torn ACL in the Super Bowl while playing for the Los Angeles Rams, Beckham has reportedly had “exploratory talks” with the Patriots about a potential free-agent deal, per NFL insider Dov Kleinman.

Is It Finally Time For Beckham to Come to New England?

Beckham said he was close to signing with the Patriots after he was released by the Cleveland Browns and elected to sign with the Rams, where he won a Super Bowl.

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Things didn’t work out then, but the upcoming season could be a better time for the OBJ-New England connection.

Beckham Jr. proved he could still be effective last season. In eight games with the Rams, not including the postseason, Beckham snagged 27 receptions for 305 yards and 5 TDs. In the playoffs, Beckham added another 25 catches over 4 games with 316 yards and 2 TDs.

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He may have been on his way to Super Bowl MVP honors against the Cincinnati Bengals had he not torn his ACL midway through the game.

When Beckham went down, he’d already caught 2 passes for 52 yards and a score. With the Bengals seemingly trying to key on Cooper Kupp, Beckham was torching the Cincinnati secondary en route to a strong start.

While Beckham looked strong down the stretch of the 2021 season and in the playoffs, there are some obvious reasons to be a little cautious about his potential arrival in Foxborough.

Beckham Has a Troubling Injury History

Beckham not only turns 30 in November, but he has now suffered two torn ACLs in his career. The first one happened in October 2020 to his left leg. He tore the ACL in the same knee in the Super Bowl.

To say that is troubling would be an understatement. Even if he has a complete recovery from this latest serious injury, the Patriots couldn’t realistically expect him to be back on the field before some time in November, perhaps after the receiver turns 30 on November 5.

There are a lot of things to consider with this signing, both positive and negative.

The Potential Upside of a Deal for Beckham

On the positive side, it seems unlikely Beckham will be able to command a huge salary because of his injury history. In fact, the Patriots should have a good chance to ink him on a one or two-year deal chock full of incentives based on playing time.

It could be similar to the deal they just gave offensive tackle Trent Brown, only with even less security. Brown got a two-year, $13 million deal, but only $4 million of the pact is guaranteed. The Patriots have a potential out after the upcoming season with a just a $1.25 million cap hit, and a large portion of the deal is tied to playing time incentives.

Beckham’s deal might be in the same ballpark, but perhaps maybe even just one year.

If Beckham can recover, even if he misses the first 2.5 months of the season, and lands on the team offering them the sort of presence at wide receiver they sorely need, it could be a major win for the Patriots.

New England desperately needs a No. 1 receiver to help Mac Jones and the offense take the next step in 2022. While the Patriots seem certain to address this need in the NFL Draft, having a veteran with Beckham’s ability and resume coming down the pike would be potentially invaluable.

As of now, the talks are exploratory, but this seems like the best potential chance the Patriots have of finally signing Beckham after some false alarms in the past.

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