Odell Beckham Jr. is back in the NFL as the result of a one-year deal with the New York — oh, wait: with the Baltimore Ravens.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the wide receiver's deal is structured like this:
- $1.165 million base salary
- $13.835 million signing bonus
- $3 million in "reachable incentives"
More details on Odell Beckham Jr.?s one-year deal with the #Ravens:
$13.835 million signing bonus
$1.165 million base salary
$3M in reachable incentives
So OBJ will make at least $15 million and as much as $18M on the deal negotiated by agent Zeke Sandhu. https://t.co/z6S8tkjvP1
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 9, 2023
This is a massive get for the Ravens, a team that didn't have a single wide receiver break 500 yards in 2022. Tight end Mark Andrews led the team with 847 yards.
However, there are some question marks with Beckham, especially after he missed the entire 2022 season after tearing his ACL in his Los Angeles Rams' Super Bowl win. With this deal now in hand, what does this mean for the Ravens? Is this a sign of good things to come? Does quarterback Lamar Jackson come back?
Let's look at some scenarios below.
Lamar Jackson Will Be a Raven In 2023
RELATED: The Ravens Have Lost All Leverage With Lamar Jackson
It's been over a month since Jackson requested a trade from the Ravens, and nothing has happened since. It's been about the same amount of time since the team slapped the non-exclusive franchise tag on him, which would've allowed any team to submit an offer sheet to Jackson for the cost of two first-round picks.
Nothing has happened on that front.
However, shortly after the deal was signed, a screenshot of a FaceTime call between Jackson and OBJ made the rounds on Twitter, indicating that they may be on the same page.
Lamar Jackson posted this on IG after news broke of OBJ signing with the Ravens ? pic.twitter.com/fPFsD55iLx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 10, 2023
This is a significant development, as you'd have to assume that OBJ would only sign the deal if he felt confident in Jackson returning to the team for at least the 2023 season.
OBJ will easily be the best wide receiver Jackson has worked with. As NFL analyst Warren Sharp points out, the breadth of talent has been minimal in that position in the time Jackson has been with the team.
Ravens largest per-yr average $ contracts given to WRs since Lamar Jackson became starter in 2019:
$15.0M - Odell Beckham Jr.
$ 6.0M - Willie Snead
$ 5.0M - Sammy Watkins
$ 3.3M - Nelson Agholor
$ 3.1M - Rashod Bateman
$ 2.9M - Marquise Brown
$ 2.0M - Seth Roberts
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 9, 2023
The Ravens Could (Potentially) Wait On Receiver
Heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, the Ravens were a team you could peg as one to select a wide receiver with the No. 22 overall pick.
While the Ravens don't own a second-round pick, they still have a top 90 selection at No. 86 overall that they could use on a receiver instead. At No. 22 overall, this could allow them some much-needed flexibility to draft a cornerback such as Maryland's own Deonte Banks or even take a swing at running back Bijan Robinson to help with the Jackson-led rushing attack.
At No. 86 overall, you're not getting a wide receiver such as a Zay Flowers or Jalin Hyatt. Still, there could be some intriguing prospects such as Stanford's Michael Wilson, Houston's Nathaniel "Tank" Dell, LSU's Kayshon Boutte or even Tennessee's Cedric Tillman.
Getting OBJ gives Jackson his No. 1 guy while still having Andrews and Rashod Bateman on the roster.
Do The Jets Target a Receiver At No. 13?
A commonly mock-drafted position for the New York Jets has been an offensive tackle, whether that's Georgia's Broderick Jones, Tennessee's Darnell Wright or others. However, that might change with OBJ not coming to town — which had seemed like a foregone conclusion given the imminence of the Aaron Rodgers acquisition.
Now, at No. 13 overall, the Jets could have their pick of any receiver in the class to add to a list that currently consists of Garrett Wilson, Mecole Hardman, Allen Lazard, Denzel Mims and more.
There's a Possibility Rodgers Doesn't Play For Jets
While it seems to be a matter of working out some Day 2 draft compensation, could the OBJ deal signal some potential red flags regarding Rodgers landing there?
Like Rodgers going to the Jets now, it seemed more probable than not that OBJ would land there, as that's been a connection all offseason. The chances are that Rodgers still goes to the Jets, but OBJ's signing elsewhere casts some doubt on that situation.
No Certainty OBJ Is A Legit No. 1 Option
While OBJ carries massive brand name recognition in the NFL, we have to reckon with the context of the situation.
In 2022, OBJ caught zero passes after missing the entire season because of his torn ACL from the 2022 Super Bowl. OBJ did catch a touchdown in that game and looked like a potential Super Bowl MVP before the injury. However, that Rams offense was loaded, headlined by fellow wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
OBJ hasn't had over 1,000 receiving yards since 2019 with the Cleveland Browns. In 2020 and 2021, he combined for just over 850 yards, 67 receptions and eight touchdowns. He did have 305 receiving yards in three games with the Rams during the regular season there.
The Ravens are always a run-heavy team with Jackson, so OBJ doesn't necessarily need 1,500 yards to be considered a "No. 1," but this shouldn't be the end of potential additions to the Ravens' passing game.
MORE: These 5 NFL Teams Could Fulfill Lamar Jackson's Trade Request
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