Should Eagles take a punt on Odell Beckham Jr?

NFL: OCT 31 Steelers at Browns
CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 31: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) on the field during the second quarter of the National Football League game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns on October 31, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The Odell Beckham Jr era is coming to an end in Cleveland. It’s been nothing but bumpy since his arrival and will end in the Browns being the second team to exile OBJ from their grounds. He’ll be exposed to the waiver wire after a contract restructure where the Eagles sit eighth in terms of priority. There is a good chance that Howie will have the option to pull the trigger, but should he?

What happened to Odell Beckham Jr?

After eclipsing 1,000 yards in his first season with the Browns, things took a turn in 2020. It was a slow start for the 29-year-old and one that ended in a gut-wrenching ACL tear. After working his way back from injury, Beckham returned to unfamiliar territory.

All of a sudden, he wasn’t ‘the guy’. New HC Kevin Stefanski deploys offense built on timing as opposed to one that allows OBJ to take the top off of a defense and it didn’t take long for the cracks to show. Despite leading the team in targets through 8 weeks, he has only 234 receiving yards to his name.

This, partnered with the fact that QB Baker Mayfield has a habit of missing OBJ when he’s open, only fuelled the fire and pushed Beckham’s father to post a video of all the times Mayfield missed the LSU product this season alone.

We then saw plenty of social media backlash and a puzzling delay in the time it took for teammates to defend OBJ’s character. Either way, he leaves Cleveland with a restructured deal meaning that a team will be able to make a relatively risk-free claim. Should that be the Eagles?

Should the Eagles make a claim?

The first thing to figure out is where Odell would fit. DeVonta Smith was drafted to be WR1 and Jalen Reagor was a first-round selection only one year prior. He would easily push Reagor out of the picture as a Z receiver and that’s fine but it would be chalked up as another ‘Howie Roseman draft failure’ and I don’t think Philadelphia is ready for that just yet.

Reagor is an interesting name to note. He’s battled a lot of personal issues over the past 12 months, but his behavior on social media has been puzzling at best and he spent a good chunk of his rookie year nibbling at fans and taking things extremely personally. If that’s irritating, then something tells me OBJ isn’t exactly going to be the greatest fit to this locker room.

Beckham has a history of throwing temper tantrums and is often associated with the ‘diva’ personality that many star receivers take on. Even last year, he was seen slamming down his helmet and punching a cooler in a loss to Pittsburgh.

For a team looking to build a strong core for years to come, one has to wonder whether Beckham would

A) Want to play for a team who won’t be contending for anything for a few years.
B) Be able to tolerate playing with a young QB who only throws to one side of the field and has a myriad of weaknesses.
C) Will be able to handle the external pressure of playing in Philadelphia.

If the answer is somehow ‘yes’ to all three questions, then Howie should absolutely pull the trigger. The reality of the matter is that the answer is probably a resounding no.

Odell Beckham is a star and his talent is unquestionable. He’s clearly still one of the finest route-runners in the game and has a lot left in the tank. But are the Eagles desperate for a receiver after spending two first-rounders at the position over the last 24 months? Probably not. As alluring as the idea of Beckham may be, the risk simply isn’t worth it at this stage.

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire