The NY Jets have been considered the favorites to sign Odell Beckham Jr. for months now. Rumors about a potential Jets/Beckham pairing have been swirling since at least January.
But on Sunday, the former Pro Bowl wide receiver agreed to a ridiculous one-year, $15 million deal worth up to $18 million in incentives with the Baltimore Ravens. The Jets were never going to pay anything close to that.
By all accounts, Beckham wanted to sign with the Jets. He had a visit lined up with the team on Monday following numerous unofficial meetings. The Jets even believed that they were going to be the team to sign Beckham.
That was before the Ravens swooped in and gave Beckham one of the most ludicrous deals of the offseason. They wanted to make sure Beckham never visited the Jets, and they did so the only way they could.
They made him an offer he couldn't possibly pass up. In doing so, the Jets dodged a major bullet.
The NY Jets are much better off not paying that Odell Beckham Jr. contract
It's important to remember that the Odell Beckham we might see in 2023 could be a shell of his former self. He's seven years removed from his last 1,100-yard season, four years removed from his last 1,000-yard season, and didn't even play last year.
Beckham has also torn his ACL twice in the same knee in consecutive seasons. Despite this, the Ravens gave him $15 million in guarantees. If his cap hit is $15 million in 2023, that would make him the 10th-highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.
That's notably ahead of players like Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, and DK Metcalf. The Jets might have been hesitant to pay half of what Beckham was asking for — as they should have been.
Now, the Jets can absolutely still use a wide receiver. Garrett Wilson is an excellent WR1, but Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman would be an underwhelming way to round out the team's trio of wide receivers.
There's always the possibility that Corey Davis sticks around, although working around his contract would be an obstacle. The Jets could also consider a trade for someone like DeAndre Hopkins or even the 2023 NFL Draft.
Regardless, the Jets dodged a major bullet here. The Ravens were desperate to land Beckham, so they handed him what might be the worst contract of the offseason to ensure it would happen. They didn't want him visiting the Jets on Monday.
Credit to Beckham's agent for securing his client a massive payday, and credit to the Jets for not biting on an obviously absurd deal. The Jets can find their wide receiver help elsewhere.