Late Friday afternoon, news broke via a tweet by NFL on CBS Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones that the Buffalo Bills were among those teams in attendance at the private workout conducted by Odell Beckham Jr. Buffalo was one of 12 teams (New York Jets later reported by Jones) that attended OBJ’s workout in Arizona.
Teams represented at Odell Beckham Jr.'s private workout in Arizona today included the Panthers, Giants, Patriots, Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Chiefs, Vikings, Browns and Ravens, per source.— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) March 10, 2023
The private workout comes more than a year after Beckham’s ACL injury suffered during Super Bowl LVI. While the Bills and OBJ have yet to work together, they already have a bit of history given last season’s on-again, off-again talk of “will he” or “won’t he” join Buffalo.
That, of course, never materialized. Beckham wasn’t as far along in his rehab as predicted, and he was nowhere ready to join a team during the final month of the regular season. Beckham did meet with the Bills, after talking with the New York Giants and before his stop to Jerry’s World and the Dallas Cowboys.
Beckham didn’t work out for any of the three teams he visited, and he preferred to join a club once the postseason began and he was ready to play. That option didn’t work in his favor, perhaps due to teams’ reticence in renting a player of his caliber only for the playoffs without having built any chemistry with the offense during the regular season.
Make no mistake, the Buffalo Bills absolutely should have interest in signing Beckham in 2023. He boasts some of the NFL’s most amazing catches by any receiver — Jerry Rice or otherwise. He’s continued to make those signature logic-defying catches late into his career.
So, here we are again. Only this time, OBJ’s working out for clubs. But which team in attendance would make the most sense for Beckham to sign with next?
The “not-a-chance” Tier
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers’ front office just traded a mountain of assets for the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft next month. That likely means they’re sold on a quarterback. Is Beckham sold on the idea of a rookie QB?
New England Patriots: Reportedly in attendance, but quarterback Mac Jones and New England’s offense don’t scream “championship” the way things used to be with TB12. This is the only team in the AFC East I believe makes zero sense for Beckham.
Arizona Cardinals: With the workout in Arizona, it makes sense for the Cardinals to attend. Given the team’s current situation on offense, it might be the wrong time for Beckham to find a new home in the desert. Is Kyler Murry drama the sort of drama Beckham seeks?
Cleveland Browns: Been there, done that. But not with Deshaun Watson. Could a reunion be in the cards? I can think of a lot of reasons for OBJ not to re-join the Browns. He’d need just one to make a decision.
The “yes, with reservations” Tier
New York Giants: Another team with the reunion angle. But also one of the three teams Beckham paid a visit to last season, and also a plucky upstart 2022 playoff squad. There may be no team more in need of talented wide receivers than the Giants. After giving quarterback Daniel Jones a new, large contract, Bills East may love nothing more than the idea of complementing Jones with a savvy vet like OBJ.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings and Adam Thielen just parted ways. A duo of Justin Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. would be fun to watch. Does Minnesota have what it takes to compete with the best of the best in the NFC? Winning so many close games says they actually do have the right stuff, even if last season’s playoff exit was early and ugly. With Beckham, those close wins might gain more room on the scoreboard.
Los Angeles Rams: Of course the Rams’ brass were in attendance. They have reason to be interested in Beckham given how things were going prior to his injury in their Super Bowl victory. But the band’s not getting back together, by and large. This isn’t the same LA Rams Beckham knew two seasons ago. I have to wonder if OBJ feels like he has unfinished business in Los Angeles, and with the only quarterback on this list of teams whom he’s built any chemistry.
San Francisco 49ers: For as incredible as the story was for rookie quarterback Brock Purdy as the last pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, I believe there’s too much uncertainty at the Niners’ QB position for OBJ to feel confident signing a contract. Still, they made the NFC Championship game and most would say they deserve the benefit of the doubt for how things played out. If Beckham joined San Fran, their talent level on offense would pass “11” with players like Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Kyle Juszczyk already in house.
Baltimore Ravens: Until things are decided with quarterback Lamar Jackson, I can’t see OBJ ever agreeing to join the Ravens. They might also need to install an offense that more involves the team’s receivers. If Jackson remains a Raven, Beckham could decide the fit’s perfect. The doubters are blind to Lamar Jackson’s arm talent and pairing it with Odell Beckham Jr. could prove fruitful.
New York Jets: Nearly a perfect fit, if one Aaron Rodgers joins the New Jersey club to play quarterback. The Jets boast a ton of talent all over the roster. The biggest question remains at QB — where Beckham would need to look for footballs to be thrown his way. If it’s Rodgers, I think the Jets make a ton of sense. If it’s not, he’d be looking up at the top half of the AFC East.
The “a deal is imminent” Tier
Kansas City Chiefs: Beckham would immediately become the Chiefs’ top wide receiver, perhaps second only to Travis Kelce in terms of looks by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Plus, championships. They’ve been in three of the last four Super Bowls and have two NFL Championship rings to prove it. Kansas City has the cap room to sign and pay OBJ. It’s a done deal, right?
Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen (check). Stefon Diggs (check). Von Miller (check). Need for wide receivers to better complement Diggs (check). Buffalo was often a two-man show in 2022, with Allen and Diggs often doing all they could to grab a W each week. As the season wore on, teams found creative ways to limit Diggs’ effectiveness and it was clear the offense was desperate for answers with the signings of wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley. Odell Beckham Jr. would likely slot in as the Bills’ WR2, thus allowing Gabe Davis to transition to a more complementary role as WR3. I’m just not sure One Bills Drive can afford what Beckham wants to be paid.