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Tom Brady isn’t the only NFL player who recruits players to come play on his team.
(By the way, Brady has been working out with Rob Gronkowski occasionally when the two are in Florida and has been in the tight end’s ear about re-signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)
Anyway, back to the rest of the league:
There are players — and front offices — on multiple NFL teams who have made a point of reaching out to Odell Beckham Jr., perhaps the most talented wide receiver left on the free agent market, to get him to decide on signing with their team.
When Jarvis Landry joined the New Orleans Saints, returning to Louisiana where he played college football at LSU, he immediately made an effort to get Beckham Jr. to join him with the Saints.
Beckham Jr. and Landry are close friends and both played at LSU and with the Cleveland Browns together.
“I’ve been trying,” Landry said of his press on Beckham.
The Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl in which Beckham Jr. both caught a 17-yard touchdown pass and blew out his left knee in the second quarter. It is that ACL injury, which the receiver has been rehabilitating, that has most likely kept Beckham Jr. unsigned.
Because it’s not certain he’ll be ready for the start of the 2022 season, much less training camp, teams have been somewhat cautious in their approach of the star receiver.
The Rams, for example, really want Beckham back. Really!
“We really want Odell back on our team,” coach Sean McVay said recently on the Rich Eisen Show. “He’s a guy that, in a short amount of time, we were able to develop a really special relationship. I thought he brought a great spark to our team. I thought he played really well. He’s a great teammate.
“Without a doubt, want to get Odell back here. That’s the goal and continuing to work toward a solution of him re-signing with the Rams.”
The Rams have actually given Beckham’s agent their “thoughts” on what they could do on a contract although it’s not right to say the sides were engaged in serious negotiations.
The Cleveland Browns, the team which released Beckham before he signed with Los Angeles last season, have had internal discussions about bringing him back, per a source. Players on the team, meanwhile, have had quite public discussions on the same topic.
Myles Garrett, the biggest star on the Browns not facing the possibility of an NFL suspension, recently posted on Instagram asking teammates to come home.
“Come home, the fellas miss you,” Garrett wrote.
“Who [you] talkin’ about slimeeee,” Beckham responded.
To which Garrett answered with a telephone emoji and, “it’s time.”
It’s pretty clear the time for Beckham is when a team is willing to pay him what he believes he’s worth.
The Rams discussion of parameters didn’t do the trick for the receiver. And it’s obvious no other team has yet to reach the number to make Beckham sign.
Beckham Jr., meanwhile, has made it clear he’d be open to the Colts showing interest in him.
There is, of course, the issue standing in the way of all this — the knee injury. Some of the teams that might want Beckham and have the cap space to get him are concerned about his health.
The receiver’s recovery and durability are the main issues keeping a deal from getting done because teams don’t want to overspend for a player who cannot last a season, while the player wants to be paid at a certain level regardless of his recent injury history.
It doesn’t help Beckham Jr. that he injured the same knee in October 2020 and that was also an ACL injury.
The Browns, with approximately $40 million in salary cap space this year, could easily fit Beckham Jr. under the cap on a one-year.
The Rams ($5 million) in cap space and Saints ($10.6) and Colts ($10.8) would all have to get imaginative to get Beckham Jr on what would probably be a one-year deal with voidable years after that for cap purposes.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero