Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is having a solid half-season plus the playoffs in his first stint with the Rams. Does that mean he’s headed for a pay raise for his next contract?
Beckham was released by the Browns on November 8. The Rams signed him to a one-year deal three days later, on November 11. Los Angeles gave him an incentive-laden contract with a base value of $1.25 million.
That has already doubled to $2.5 million, thanks to incentives tied to the Rams winning in the wild-card ($500,000) and divisional ($750,000) rounds of the NFC playoffs. You can earn up to $4.25 million for winning the NFC championship ($750,000) and Super Bowl 56 ($1 million).Consider, though, that Beckham signed a five-year, $95 million deal with the Giants in 2018, with $65 million guaranteed. After limited production and health following his trade to the Browns, the Rams could sign him on the cheap.
Beckham proved a necessity to complement No. 1 wide receiver Cooper Kupp after Robert Woods suffered a season-ending knee injury (torn ACL) in practice on Nov. 12. OBJ has been a solid possession No. 2 with 6 TDs in 10 gamesBut now Beckham, who turned 29 in November, faces free agency in 2022. The Rams are projected to be well over the salary cap and Kupp and Woods combined have $34 million against the cap. Van Jefferson Jr., a 2020 second-round pick, will once again be a bargain at the job. The team will also get back 2021 second-round pick Tutu Atwell healthy at wide receiver.The Rams may still want Beckham back depending on the price, but they should be much more interested in retaining running back Von Miller for defense. Here’s the potential deal Beckham will get from the Rams or another team:
What is the value of Odell Beckham Jr. in 2022?
There are some similar contracts for veteran receivers in 2021 that can provide the blueprint. The Colts brought back TY Hilton and the Steelers re-signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year, $8 million deal. The Cardinals added AJ Green and the Bills signed Emmanuel Sanders to a one-year, $6 million deal. That range seems right for Beckham and so does another short-term deal. That should explain the fact that he turns 30 next season and has a considerable injury history. The Ravens signed Sammy Watkins to a one-year, $5 million deal in 2021. That would be the absolute bottom end for Beckham, given how good complementary production he is.
The best fits from Odell Beckham Jr.’s NFL free agency
Beckham has been successful with the Rams because he has seen favorable coverage away from Kupp. He is no longer the dynamic No. 1 he was for the Giants as a rookie and in the prime of life. He will have to enter a situation similar to the current one.The Bears could use OBJ since they won’t be re-signing Allen Robinson alongside Darnell Mooney. The Dolphins should also be interested in him to complement Jaylen Waddle.Thinking of playoff teams, the Raiders may need help from veterans at the position to support Hunter Renfrow with Zay Jones unsigned. The Colts may consider Beckham to replace Hilton a good option with Michael Pittman Jr. Similarly, the Cardinals may need him with DeAndre Hopkins given that Green and Christian Kirk are unsigned.In terms of being in comfortable top positions and having a need at the position, those are the five teams to watch the most. The wild card is the Chiefs, who may try to make him the new Watkins away from Tyreek Hill.Beckham’s time with the Browns raised questions about how much he had left. His rebounding with the Rams says he may be a valuable veteran to fuel (probably) another passing game soon.