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Late for Work 5/30: Ravens' Deal with Odell Beckham Jr. Reportedly 'Blew Up' Chiefs' Attempt to Trade for DeAndre Hopkins

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) runs the ball during the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022 in Inglewood, CA.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) runs the ball during the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022 in Inglewood, CA.

Ravens' Deal With Odell Beckham Jr. Reportedly 'Blew Up' Chiefs' Attempt to Trade for DeAndre Hopkins

Not only did the Ravens get a star wide receiver when they signed Odell Beckham Jr., but they also may have prevented the Kansas City Chiefs from landing their own star wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins.

According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, the Chiefs had made progress in trade talks with the Arizona Cardinals regarding Hopkins, but Beckham's one-year deal with the Ravens, which is reportedly for $15 million in base salary, "more or less blew that progress up."

Breer noted that the Buffalo Bills were the only other team to have substantive discussions with the Cardinals about Hopkins, but the price tag was an issue for them as well.

"As for where this goes next, I'd say the price will dictate that," Breer tweeted. "Under current circumstances, unlikely KC or Buffalo go get him. If his price drops (both teams offered incentive-heavy deals), then ... maybe."

As noted in yesterday’s Late for Work, there are differing opinions among media members as to whether Baltimore should pursue Hopkins. The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec said it would be difficult for the Ravens to land Hopkins if there's a bidding war, putting them in the same boat as the Chiefs and Bills.

"They currently have just north of $12 million of cap space, but they need that to sign [first-round wide receiver Zay] Flowers and make other roster additions at positions of need," Zrebiec wrote. "They'll also want to enter the season with a chunk of available cap space so they have the flexibility to make roster moves and perhaps pull off a trade before the deadline.

"[General Manager Eric] DeCosta could certainly restructure a number of deals to make things work for this year, but that would require pushing even more money onto future caps. The Ravens have grudgingly done a lot of that this offseason, adding void years to many of their deals to make sure they had the necessary cap flexibility to match a potential [Lamar] Jackson offer sheet. With Jackson now on the books, future cap flexibility will be critical to the team, even with the cap expected to increase significantly going forward."

Zrebiec noted that the Ravens "did their due diligence on Hopkins earlier this offseason," but "despite several reports that indicated otherwise, it does not appear Baltimore was ever really close to a deal."

John Harbaugh Discusses Lamar Jackson's Trade Request Tweet From March And More

Head Coach John Harbaugh was a recent guest on former Oriole Adam Jones’ podcast. Here are some highlights from the conversation:

On Lamar Jackson tweeting that he had requested a trade right before Harbaugh sat down to speak with the media at the NFL Meetings: "I can't sit here and say I wasn't surprised, but I really kind of wasn't surprised either, because we knew that he had asked for the trade at the Combine, and as he said since, that was more of a negotiating tactic. Now I don't know, because I think emotions do run high, and we're all human, and I think we all understand that at the time, but we just knew that the relationships were intact, that we cared about each other. There was always going to be frayed edges, that's always part of it. But when I walked up there I didn't expect the conversation to be about that because it seemed like that was more of a private thing. … For whatever reason, a sense of calm came right over me. I actually prayed a quiet prayer. I just said, 'Lord, just help me to be calm and give me the right words.' … Thankfully I was just able to get through it without saying something that would've been damaging."

On Jackson saying he wants to throw for 6,000 yards: "We never want to get in a place where we're predictable, where the opponent can anticipate what we're going to do. … So you've got to be able to live in a lot of different worlds when you do that — run, pass, and different of schemes. … I do think with Lamar, you build it around him. You want to be in that no-tempo, move fast, make decisions at the line of scrimmage, get a defense tired out, and let Lamar play the way he likes to play, and within that I'm sure there will be run, pass, no-huddle, different kinds of tempos, and things like that."

On pressure to go deep in the playoffs this season: "I don't really want to be coaching a team that if you're 9-7 everybody is thrilled, or if you go .500 everybody's like, 'Wow, that's a successful year.' We want to be a team that if we don't go deep in the playoffs that people are disappointed. Every year for the last four or five years I've been fully expecting us to go deep in the playoffs, so the fact that we haven't absolutely sticks in your craw."

On taking a different approach to London game (Week 6 vs. the Titans) than in 2017 (44-7 loss to the Jaguars*)*: "We're going to go out earlier, try to flip the script a little bit if we can."

Harbaugh Doesn't Crack Top 10 in 33rd Team's Head Coach Rankings

The 33rd Team’s Ross Tucker released his head coach rankings, and Harbaugh surprisingly was outside the top 10, coming in at No. 11.

"He's been the Baltimore Ravens' coach since 2008 and for good reason," Tucker wrote. "He's racked up the playoff berths with now two different quarterbacks and has a ring from 2012 to top it all off."

Despite those accolades and Harbaugh's .607 winning percentage, it's a head-scratcher that he isn't ranked higher.

In determining his rankings, Tucker wrote that he "tried to account for what each coach has done with what they've been given for as long as they've been doing it." So, it appears he believes some of the coaches ranked ahead of Harbaugh have accomplished more with less.

However, Pro Football Focus used an analytics model last year to determine its head coach rankings, and Harbaugh was No. 2, behind only Bill Belichick. The model estimated how many games each coach would win with an average team.

Isaiah Likely Named to Bucky Brooks' All-Breakout Team

The Ravens have so many weapons on offense that it's easy to overlook someone such as Isaiah Likely, but analyst Bucky Brooks isn't forgetting about the second-year tight end.

Likely made Brooks' All-Breakout Team.

"After a solid rookie campaign — highlighted by an eight-catch, 103-yard outing in Week 18 — Likely is poised to make a major impact in Year 2 as part of an offensive makeover that could turn the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens into an aerial circus under new coordinator Todd Monken," Brooks wrote. "With opponents focusing on passing-game weapons like Odell Beckham Jr., Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman and first-round pick Zay Flowers, Likely could produce big play after big play as the designated seam runner against two-deep coverage."

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