Opinion: The Packers Need to Actively Pursue Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. excited during Rams Super Bowl

Odell Beckham Jr. is an elite talent at wide receiver who has earned the right to be called a 3x Pro Bowler, a 2x All-Pro, the player on the receiving end of arguably the most incredible catch of all time, and — most recently — a Super Bowl champion. Beckham is currently a free agent, and the only reason for this being the case four weeks into the season is the fact that he is currently rehabbing a torn ACL that he suffered in last year’s Super Bowl.

A few days ago, Beckham found himself in awe over the abilities of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. He took to Twitter about it during the second half of the Packers win over the New England Patriots.

This sparked a debate amongst Packers fans on social media, as most things do. Many believe that the recent departure of Davante Adams from the Packers is a situation that has already been repaired, and that the young players on offense just need time to grow and develop. This does certainly seem to be the case. You won’t see me talking down on rookie receivers Romeo Doubs or Christian Watson any time soon, they seem to have the tools to be incredible players. They both need more time, however, to be able to play at a consistent level.

Claiming the Packers have a “need” for a player like Beckham however, is justified by assuming they want more than a semi-productive season that ends with a promising future to look forward to. I’d like to take this opportunity to examine the current state of the Packers wide receiver group and explain why Beckham, as a supremely talented football player, can help the Packers win a Super Bowl.

What Can Beckham Offer to the Packers?

Odell Beckham Jr. can introduce a veteran presence to the receiver room that comes along with elite playmaking ability and an understanding of the schematics of head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense. Signing with a new team is never easy at first, but it is well known that Rams head coach Sean McVay runs an offensive scheme that is similar to that of Kyle Shanahan’s and Matt LaFleur’s.

Let me quickly address the fact that some people may think Beckham is a “diva” or a “locker room cancer” by saying that I wholly disagree with this sentiment. Any issues he had with the Cleveland Browns are just that, issues he had with one team; and you’d be smart to look past these issues. The Los Angeles Rams are sure glad they did.

A player like Odell Beckham Jr. will, first and foremost, be able to add a layer to the offense that makes it harder to game plan against. The Packers have done fairly well on the ground in the absence of Davante Adams, but the passing game would see a boost that could make the offense lethal. The young players that are being relied on would be relied on a bit less for the year, but what they stand to learn from the current veterans like Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard would only increase.

A Hindrance to Young Players?

I’ll explain my previous sentiments about the young players by saying I don’t think the plan would ever be to sign Beckham to a multi-year deal. Beckham has had a storied 8-year career that has had a few stops along the way, and this would just be another one. Much like he did with the Rams last season, he could simply step in, help elevate the team, and compete for a Super Bowl. In such an instance no one would have to worry about rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs somehow having their development stunted by losing opportunities to play for years to come.

There is also no reason to believe the addition of one player would exclude them from many opportunities this year either, though that may have to be the case for receiver Sammy Watkins, who currently sits on the Packers injured reserve list. The Packers have done enough to win close games this year, but if they want a chance at improving the offense significantly, that chance is currently sitting on the free agent market.

Why Beckham Could Sign With Green Bay

After coming off of an injury like this, it is unlikely that many teams would be willing to sign Beckham to a long term deal with a ton of guaranteed money involved, not unless it’s a team that is desperate for a star player in the years to come. It also seems unlikely that Beckham would choose 2022 as the year to sign with one of those desperate teams. The rumor mill seems to suggest that Beckham would prefer to sign with a contender this season when he’s healthy enough to play, which will very likely be in about six or seven weeks.

When asked about Beckham’s tweets on Pat McAfee’s show Tuesday morning, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said, “Odell and I have been friends for a number of years now… you’re always hoping there’s a time where you can figure things out & play together.”

So we know that the QB approves, we know that Beckham had interest in joining the Packers last season before deciding to play in Los Angeles, and we know that there is certainly respect between Rodgers and Beckham. Ultimately this decision will be made by the player, and the player only, but teams must show a certain level of interest for it to be reciprocated.

Why Beckham May Not Sign with Green Bay

In all likelihood, Odell Beckham Jr. will not sign with the Packers. When Beckham signed with the Rams last season he shared a facetime call with a dear friend of his — and at the time — a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Von Miller. Something to watch for is the fact that Miller currently plays for another Super Bowl contender in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills.

While not much is really known about Beckham’s eventual decision, it feels likely that he will end up “chasing a ring” with his friend Von Miller again, or that he will return to the Los Angeles Rams to attempt winning back-to-back Super Bowls with the same team.

My steadfast opinion will remain however, that the Green Bay Packers need to make every attempt possible at acquiring Beckham. Doing so would be a testament to their willingness to make a decision for the present, as 38-year-old Aaron Rodgers likely won’t be in a Packers uniform for much longer.

What I’m ultimately saying here is that while Beckham likely has other favorable options, the Packers need to prove that they are willing to try to go all in. There has been long standing speculation that the Packers don’t value championships as much as maintaining small levels of prolonged success. Simply making the playoffs has seemed like the main goal of many Packers teams in the last few years. 

Pursuing Beckham could take the Packers a step closer to winning a Super Bowl for the first time in over a decade, and it would prove that they care about more than maintaining minor success year to year.

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Zack is a college student and cheesehead from California. When he’s not in class or writing, you can find him talking about the Packers on Twitter at @Zack_Upchurch.

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