The NFL calendar flipping to November means a few things for football fans.
Firstly, it’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving football viewing plans (for me, that comes with my regularly scheduled nap that comes in the middle of the Cowboys afternoon game). But we also need to clear space to discuss Odell Beckham Jr. rumors. Because for the second straight autumn, OBJ is a free agent searching for a new home.
And while the Chicago Bears aren’t considered a fit right now, two rivals are seen as possible matches for the standout receiver.
Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed polled sources around the league to determine the best fits for OBJ. And two NFC North teams pop up as possible candidates — the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.
It pains me to type it out, but I can see where the Vikings make sense. Minnesota is 7-1, and probably sees this moment as a possible strike-while-the-iron-is-hot opportunity. And thus, it would make sense if the Vikings were willing to push their chips to all-in. Remember, their first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell was with the Rams last season. So if anyone knows what a healthy OBJ can do down the stretch, it is Minny’s head coach. Moreover, it can only help to have fellow LSU product Justin Jefferson to help nudge a fellow Tiger to Minnesota. Jefferson and the Vikings fell short in pursuit of Beckham last year. But it appears they are in a position to make a second run in 2022.
I suppose the same can be said about the Packers. If you’ll recall, they were failures in their attempt to add Beckham for the stretch run last year (and they tried to add new Bears WR Chase Claypool at the deadline). However, I don’t think we should be saying the same about the Packers this year. Contenders? The Packers? These Packers!? Come on, now. The 2022 Green Bay Packers are 3-6, giving them the same record as the Bears. FiveThirtyEight’s projections have the Packers making the playoffs in just 5 percent of its simulations. That is a lower percentage than the Bears, who have a 6 percent shot at making the postseason. Heck, Football Outsiders has the Packers having better odds of getting a top-5 pick (10.8%) than a division crown (2.4%). Green Bay is a Super Bowl contender in the same way I have a shot at winning a Powerball jackpot. For this season at least.
In the end, I wish the Bears were mentioned as a possible fit. After all, if the 3-6 Packers can make sense as being in the mix then why can’t the 3-6 Bears? Like Green Bay, Chicago could use an upgrade at receiver. Don’t get me wrong. The Darnell Mooney-Chase Claypool tandem raises the floor of the receiver’s room and still has some upside. But adding an impact talent like OBJ could blow the ceiling off this offense. That three-headed monster could give opposing defenses fits. But it appears to not be the right place for Beckham. Or even the right time for the Bears. That’s a bummer. Because that is the type of trio I hope Chicago can field as it continues building around Justin Fields. Then again, the time to further bolster the receiver position will come soon enough.
With oodles of cap space and a first-round pick at his disposal, GM Ryan Poles will have options this offseason. Patience is key here. So while I don’t want the Packers or Vikings to land OBJ, going to either team wouldn’t be the end of the world. Nevertheless, I’ll be rooting hard for the Cowboys, Bills, Niners, Ravens, Bengals, Giants, Rams, Chiefs, Chargers, or Buccaneers to seal the deal and sign Beckham.