Through three weeks of the NFL season, the Bucs receiver room has yet again been banged up and it has hurt Tampa Bay’s ability to be effective on offense, so should they consider one of the most notable free agents still available?
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr is currently still a free agent after winning the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams last season. The likely reason he still is unsigned is pretty simple. Beckham suffered a torn ACL injury during Super Bowl 56 on February 13th, 2022, which is about a year and a half after he first tore his ACL while playing for the Cleveland Browns.
Beckham has been rehabbing his injury this offseason and could be ready to return to the field in a few weeks if all continues to go well, so should the Buccaneers pursue Beckham? The short answer is yes and they really should not have much hesitation when deciding if they should or not.
Yes, two torn ACL’s in less than a year and a half for a receiver who will turn 30 in November is concerning, but the Bucs would not need him to play a full season and go through the rigors of an NFL season, just likely need him for seven or eight games, which could be doable if he is 100% healthy.
Money would likely not be an issue with Beckham either as he signed a one-year deal with Rams last year that was worth a total of 1.25 million dollars, a bargain for a receiver of his caliber. One would imagine that wherever he signs this season, it will likely be a very similar contract.
Now let’s get into the actual football part of this conversation. If the Bucs were to sign OBJ, they would have an even bigger embarrassment of riches than they already have. Imagine having Julio Jones as the team’s fifth receiver, it could be a reality if Beckham joined the fray. Beckham proved that when he is on the field, he still has the talent as he had five receiving touchdowns in just eight regular season games played with Los Angeles and that is not counting his two postseason scores.
Would it potentially be excessive to have Beckham join this receiver room? Maybe, but through just three games, the Bucs receivers have not had luck staying healthy, what should make people confident that they are not going to get hurt again? Julio Jones is 33 and has had trouble staying healthy the last few seasons plus it was reported last Sunday that he has a partially torn PCL that won’t require surgery. Other receivers like Rusell Gage and Chris Godwin have continued to battle hamstring injuries and for Godwin, he is still coming off of a torn ACL himself. As the Buccaneers found out last year, a strong unit of weapons can be depleted quickly so they can never have enough receiving depth.
It is widely speculated that this will be Tom Brady’s final season in the NFL and if it is, the Bucs have to go above and beyond to make sure that come playoff time, Tampa Bay has the weapons to get the job done. Players like former Bucs receiver Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller were playing significant roles against Beckham’s Rams last year in the playoffs. Tampa Bay’s goal should be to ensure that never happens again and signing a player like Beckham would certainly help.
It has also been speculated over the years that Brady and Beckham have wanted to play with each other for years, so this could be a match made in heaven.
If Beckham is healthy and ready to go, there should be no reason the Bucs and Brady do not pick up the phone and try to get Beckham in red and pewter as they continue to chase another Super Bowl championship.