The Los Angeles Rams made one of the biggest free agency moves of 2021 when they acquired WR Odell Beckham Jr. midway through the season. Beckham Jr. went on to play a crucial role in helping the team get to the Super Bowl. He also was able to secure 52 yards and a touchdown in the championship game, but unfortunately tore his ACL before halftime and was unable to return. It’s fair to question if the Rams still would have won the close 23-20 contest without the veteran wide receiver’s early contributions in the game.
Beckham Jr. signed a one-year prove it deal with the Baltimore Ravens this past offseason, but with rookie WR Zay Flowers looking like a future number one guy, and fellow young receiver Rashad Bateman potentially up for an extension, could it be possible that the Ravens let Beckham Jr. leave in free agency, opening the door for a reunion in LA?
The idea back in 2021 was always to get Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Beckham Jr. on the field together, however, that never happened due to Woods tearing his ACL in practice the day after OBJ was signed.
The Rams don’t particularly need another wide receiver, as Kupp should return next season, and rookie sensation Puka Nacua will be back for his sophomore year in horns. That said, Nacua’s play has consistently been compared to Woods, with head coach Sean McVay even saying specifically “ We were looking for a Robert Woods,” when talking about drafting Nacua. Bringing in Beckham Jr. could essentially give the team a second chance to see what that 2021 trio might have looked like on the field.
Also added to the equation is Demarcus Robinson’s pending free agent status. He was the Rams’ third receiver most of the season, and his numbers were pretty good this year, but it’s hard to argue that Beckham Jr. would not be an upgrade at the position.
After the 2021 season, LA and Beckham Jr. flirted with the idea of rejoining forces all offseason, but Los Angeles was extremely cap-strapped heading into the “run it back” year, and Beckham Jr. had a ton of uncertainties when it came to his surgically-repaired knee. Despite both sides saying how much they loved each other, nothing ever happened, and the veteran wide receiver ended up sitting out the entire season recovering from his injury.
The Rams are no longer in cap hell, and with around $50 million in open cap expected this offseason, Los Angeles could find it easier to bring back OBJ this time around if he is not extended by Baltimore.
At the Rams Week 14 matchup this year, there was still nothing but love from both sides, as Beckham Jr. sported a Rams “frenemies” t-shirt in warmups, and gave glowing reviews of his time in LA leading up to the game:
“It’s a special bond I have with those guys over there, it’s just all love and respect.”
He continued by talking about McVay, and the impact the Rams head coach had on him:
“McVay kind of was the person through the whole situation…brought me back to loving football and understanding true professionalism and being prepared. It was one of the best things that’s happened in my life.”
“I love that guy,” McVay told The Pivot Podcast. “… I always feel like the people that shine the brightest, when the stage is big as possible, like no moment is ever too big, he’s the kind of guy that comes to mind. I thought he played his best in those most important moments.’’
Beckham’s numbers this season in Baltimore’s “run first” offense don’t exactly jump off the page, but his 565 yards and three touchdowns do, at a minimum, show his ACL is fully recovered. LA also knows he’s a fit culture wise and on the field. The Rams may have bigger needs at cornerback and edge rusher, but bringing OBJ back, in addition to those moves, could be the cherry on top of what should be a very excited offseason in Los Angeles.