Some Minnesota Vikings players gave their front office a little push to make a roster move this week. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson and cornerback Cam Dantzier both played college football at LSU and made their pitch for another former Tiger to become a team member – Odell Beckham Jr.
Jefferson and Dantzier warmed up Sunday before Vikings’ week 9 match against the Baltimore Ravens, both wearing “Free Odell” shirts.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns will release Beckham on Monday and Tuesday is expected to cancel the waivers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Beckham wants to finish the season 2021 with a postseason contender.
Even with the Vikings record dipping below .500 following a heartbreaking home defeat to Cooper Rush and the Dallas Cowboys, they are still in good position for a playoff run. They are a game behind the Carolina Panthers for No. 7 seeds in the NFC. An addition to the Vikings’ already profound wide receiver would help with their postseason push, but Beckham may not want to switch from one team hanging at the bottom of the playoff picture to another. There are some serious playoff contenders, however, who with the addition of Beckham may be able to push their team into the conference championship contention.
New Orleans Saints (5-2)
The Saints have already shown strong interest in the acquisition of Beckham, who grew up in the area. They tried to trade for him before the trade expired, but the Browns were not satisfied with what the Saints were offering in return.
Now the Saints have nothing to offer but a contract for the homecoming of the local star. Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris have been solid this season, but like the No. 2 and n. 3 wide receiver with Beckham at no. 1, plus Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram running back and Sean Payton calling the games, this is an extremely talented offensive group.
The downside for Beckham is that the Saints will need all that talent to get through their quarterback room. With Jameis Winston down for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and Drew Brees on Sunday night football set, Payton will have to dig deep into his offensive genius to get all the production he can from Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill.
Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
The Ravens rely on their ground attack because their quarterback is arguably the most dynamic runner in the NFL. Lamar Jackson averages 6.3 yards per retrieve and will likely run over 1000 yards for the third straight season. Jackson is also dynamic as a pocket thrower, but up to this point in his career, his most reliable pass receiver has been tight end Mark Andrews.
Their receiving body looks better with 6-foot-2, 210-pound rookie Rashod Bateman returning from injury to join sprinter Marquise Brown. Adding Beckham to the Ravens would give Jackson a true No. 1 wide receiver target for the first time in his career, and Beckham’s speed would be of great use on jet sweeps in the running game. With Brown, Beckham, and Jackson on the same list, the defenses could start playing their safety against the Ravens as they do against the Chiefs.
New England Patriots (4-4)
This would be a Bill Belichick special. A very talented player becomes available after being underused by his previous team and the Patriots take advantage of it – he almost looks like Randy Moss’ pickup in 2007.
Quarterback Mac Jones is no 2007 Tom Brady, but the Patriots’ roster is in a similar position. They’re not that far from their last Super Bowl appearance, but the bout desperately needs a director. The main receiver of the Patriots is Jakobi Meyers with 45 receptions, but has an average of only 4.5 yards per reception and has not scored touchdowns.
If Beckham is to be the focal point of an attack, the Patriots would be the best opportunity for him. The Patriots’ most productive offensive player is running back Damien Harris with his 4.4-yard carry and six running touchdowns. Beckham will have to contend with the ups and downs of a rookie quarterback, but he’ll get all the goals his heart desires, from a well-trained team that have no real offensive talent in skill positions since Rob Gronkowski was healthy. Plus, a strong playoff run with the Patriots could lead to a big payday for Beckham in 2022.