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Ravens take a risk with Odell Beckham Jr. signing: Is it justified?

The rumors turned out to be true. The Baltimore Ravens wanted to sign free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. On Easter Sunday, they made it happen. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the contract is for one year, is worth up to $18 million, and includes $15 million guaranteed. Beckham broke the news on his Instagram page when he posted a photo of his son wearing a Lamar Jackson jersey.

The signing was approved by the Ravens’ starting QB, currently in a contract standoff with the organization. The Ravens placed Jackson on the nonexclusive franchise tag right before free agency. The designation allows Jackson to pursue offers from other teams. If he receives an offer sheet from another franchise, the Ravens can either match it or move on to find another quarterback. However, Jackson’s new team must surrender two first-round draft picks to Baltimore. So far, nothing has occurred. OBJ posted a screenshot of him and Jackson face-timing each other just minutes after the transaction.

The decision to sign Beckham is shocking because the Ravens usually do not prioritize the wide receiver position. Throughout its history, they have never committed much money to sign a big name wideout. Beckham has now become the outlier. Baltimore has a track record of adding wideouts past their prime or a player with minimal impact on the offense. Some notable names that come to mind are Steve Smith Sr. and DeSean Jackson.

Adding OBJ to the mix makes the Baltimore offense look dynamic on paper. The former LSU Tiger will join a cast featuring players such as Rashad Bateman, Nelson Algholor, Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace, James Proche II, Andy Isabella, Mike Thomas, and Shemar Bridges. Additional pieces outside receiver will include running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards and tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely.

Was the Signing Justifiable? 

Is the signing of Odell Beckham Jr. a justifiable move by the Ravens? In some aspects, it is. If you pay attention to the landscape of the AFC North, you notice that each team outside of the Ravens is stacked at the wide receiver position. In Cincinnati, quarterback Joe Burrow has two reliable WR options to make plays in Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Deshaun Watson has Amari Cooper to throw the football down in Cleveland. While Diontae Johnson and George Pickens may not be well-known names, the Pittsburgh Steelers know what they are doing when finding talent at the position. That’s why Jackson should be equipped with multiple playmakers instead of one at wide receiver.

However, there are significant risks involved with the decision to sign Beckham. Like Bateman, Beckham has dealt with season-ending injuries. He did not see any action during the 2022 campaign because of a Torn ACL in Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals. While the move may be viewed as a overpay by many, it makes a lot of sense. Sometimes teams must overpay to acquire upper-echelon talent for their roster, especially an organization that has Super Bowl aspirations such as the Ravens.

As for Beckham, he’s still a name that defenses will pay close attention to, despite his previous injuries. The possibility of not having Jackson combined with the injury history of both Beckham and Bateman, are some of the many risks that Baltimore could endure with a transaction of this magnitude. However, it is a move that the organization is willing to make to re-sign their star quarterback.


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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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