A few days after departing from the Cleveland Browns, star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. chose to join the Los Angeles Rams. His decision came with some surprise as he passed up other lucrative opportunities. However, Beckham’s interest in playing for Sean McVay and the Rams predates his time with the Cleveland Browns.
Odell Beckham Jr. signs with the Rams
After two-plus seasons with the Browns, Beckham’s tenure came to an abrupt end.
His diminished involvement in the passing game combined with lackluster production led to his sudden departure. Beckham struggled to produce in six games, recording only 17 receptions on 34 targets for 232 yards with zero touchdowns.
The 29-year-old couldn’t establish a stable footing in the Browns’ offense while injuries contributed to his porous play in 2021. However, his fresh start with the Rams presents him the chance to re-establish himself as one of the game’s top wide receivers.
Despite the lack of chatter, the Rams quickly pushed their way into the discussion to ink Beckham ahead of the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, and New England Patriots. The former Pro Bowler chose to sign a deal for the rest of the season, earning up to $4.5 million in a largely incentive-based contract.
Beckham will make $750,000 in base salary with $500,000 to sign the deal. He will earn $750,000 if the Rams win a wildcard round game or get the first-round bye, make $750,000 for a divisional-round win, receive $750,000 for an NFC title game victory, and garner $500,000 for making the Super Bowl or $1 million for winning it.
As Beckham gets comfortable with his new surroundings, it’s a landing spot he wanted to join years ago.
Odell Beckham Jr. knew he wanted to play for Sean McVay years before they teamed up on the Rams: ’No, dude, it doesn’t work like that’
The league is still buzzing concerning the big-splash acquisition.
However, it’s a move that Beckham eyed for several years. Last Thursday, Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported that the three-time Pro Bowler wanted to join the Rams since the team hired Sean McVay as the head coach in 2017.
“Odell had been wanting to play for the Rams since Sean McVay got there,” Glazer said via Bleacher Report. “Even after he got traded to Cleveland, he was still going, ‘Can I still get traded to the Rams?’ Like, ‘No, dude, it doesn’t work like that.'”
At the time of McVay’s hire, Beckham was still a member of the New York Giants. He was coming off a third straight year, posting at least 90 receptions for 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Giants were fresh off a crushing 38-13 wild-card playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Beckham might have seen the wheels starting to fall off in New York as then-head coach Ben McAdoo lost his job in the 2017 campaign. The star wideout also suffered a season-ending fractured ankle in the fourth game.
Meanwhile, the Rams quickly headed upward under McVay, with a playoff appearance in the first campaign. The Rams have three playoff appearances and two NFC West division titles in his first four seasons, including a Super Bowl 53 berth.
What adds to the story is that the Rams attempted to acquire in the 2018 offseason but instead acquired Brandin Cooks. It may have taken Beckham longer than expected to get where he wanted, but he has the opportunity to shine for a potential Super Bowl contender.
Golden opportunity with the Rams to compete for the Super Bowl
Before Beckham took an official snap with the Rams, a significant role quickly became thrust upon him.
Star wide receiver Robert Woods suffered a season-ending torn ACL. Woods played a massive factor through his pass-catching, blocking, and playmaking in the slot or out of the backfield.
Beckham will ease into the role as he learns the playbook and develops chemistry with quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, it doesn’t diminish the immediate high expectations.
Cooper Kupp remains the Rams’ offensive focal point, which should allow the team’s new acquisition to transition smoothly into the fold. Kupp is putting together a career-best campaign, leading the league with 1,019 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, and ranks second with 74 receptions.
Beckham’s reputation has taken a hit the last few years due to his struggles with injuries and lackluster production. It’s brought forth doubt concerning whether he can return to performing at an elite level. He will get his first shot to make an impact on Monday night in the pivotal divisional matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.