Chiefs Just Made an Under-the-Radar Move to Get Odell Beckham Jr.
NFL teams tweak players’ contracts all the time to move money around and free up salary cap space. Usually, it’s not big news. However, ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs restructured superstar tight end Travis Kelce’s deal to free up $3.455 million in cap space. That’s not all that much money in the grand scheme of things, but it is enough to get Odell Beckham Jr. to Arrowhead.
Is the Travis Kelce contract restructuring for OBJ?
Odell Beckham Jr., a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion wide receiver, hasn’t played in the NFL since his knee injury in last season’s Big Game on February 13, 2022.
As the 2022 NFL season unfolds and Beckham’s return nears, the WR is the premier free agent available on the market and could help nearly any team in the league. There has already been plenty of rumored interest from Super Bowl contenders and premier franchises like the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and the Chiefs.
And while Beckham’s had some fun on social media with Rams and Bills fans, there’s been no real news about which way the star pass-catcher is leaning.
However, the Chiefs’ restructuring of Kelce’s contract suggests the AFC West franchise at least thinks it’s a player in the OBJ sweepstakes. The $3.455 million in cap space that the Chiefs freed up would be more than enough to sign Beckham to contract around triple the seven-plus year veteran minimum, which is just over $1.1 million.
Clearing this small an amount of money at this point of the season suggests a team having a specific move in mind, and for the Chiefs, a move for Beckham would make a ton of sense.
Why the Chiefs need Odell Beckham Jr.
The Chiefs Week 6 loss at home to the Bills was a big deal. It gives Buffalo a leg up in the race for AFC home-field advantage, but more importantly, it showed some of the flaws on Kansas City’s roster.
Most glaringly, without Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs don’t have the reliability and firepower at the WR position they’ve had in the past.
In Week 6, Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis combined for 13 catches, 222 yards, and two touchdowns. On the Chiefs side, JuJu Smith-Schuster has an excellent game with five receptions for 113 yards and a TD. However, the rest of Mahomes’ WR group — Mecole Hardman, Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Justin Watson — combined for four catches and 66 yards.
Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t have the field-stretching speed that Hill did. But he is one of the most complete receivers in the NFL when healthy. He can line up inside or outside and run underneath routes or take the top off a defense going deep. OBJ is also particularly adept in the red zone. He has 56 career touchdowns and put up five in the regular season and two in the playoffs in half a season with the Rams.
Beckham would quickly become Mahomes’ 1A or 1B target alongside Smith-Shuster and let all those other WRs, who’ve been quiet, operate in more space.
Just like last season with the Rams, a midseason OBJ acquisition could lead to a Super Bowl, and the Chiefs just took the first step toward that by freeing up that Travis Kelce money.
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