Rams’ Mid-Year Acquisition of OBJ: Lucky or Genius?

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Arguably the NFL’s best mid-season move was the Rams adding Odell Beckham, Jr. It is easy to forget that when he was with the Browns earlier this year, he played poorly, couldn’t separate from defenders, injured his shoulder and just became a “distraction” overall. So the Browns cut him.

The Rams have traded many picks recently to acquire top players like Matthew Stafford, Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey, but they added OBJ as a free agent. Was this move lucky or genius?


OBJ was perceived as a disgruntled star player who forced his way out of Cleveland and joined a team that wouldn’t even give him a starring role. He was physically underperforming because of a previous ACL injury. Then, literally the day after he signed and before he could even be issued a team uniform, Robert Woods tore his ACL in practice and was done for the season. This created a glaring hole in the starting lineup, and an extra WR was no longer a luxury but a necessity.


Injuries are part of the game, and the Rams loaded up on talent without giving up draft picks to stay one step ahead of the competition. Some also likely predicted that OBJ would have a better second half of the season, since he then had more time to recover from the ACL tear. And since Cooper Kupp is already WR No. 1 in Los Angeles, Beckham had a better chance to excel. It was more than a change of scenery/scheme/QB that is responsible for the improve play as discussed here.

In the end, whether the signing was luck or genius or both, it has paid off. The Rams have a chance to win the Lombardi Trophy, and OBJ is playing well enough that the FanDuel Super Bowl MVP prop at +2500 seems to have great value.

For the team and individual health ratings for Sunday’s big game, go to www.SICscore.com.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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