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Late for Work 12/21: John Harbaugh Reportedly Spoke With Odell Beckham Jr. About Coming to Ravens

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Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.

John Harbaugh Reportedly Spoke With Odell Beckham Jr. About Coming to Ravens

On the same day that the Ravens claimed veteran Sammy Watkins off waivers and placed Devin Duvernay (foot) on injured reserve, another piece of news surfaced regarding Baltimore and a wide receiver.

The Ravens are reportedly continuing to talk with free agent Odell Beckham Jr.

Rich Eisen, who did play-by-play for Saturday's Ravens-Browns game on NFL Network, said Head Coach John Harbaugh told him in a production meeting that he had personally spoken with Beckham about coming to Baltimore.

"John Harbaugh told me they're in on, or still are, on Odell," Eisen said on "The Rich Eisen Show." "I had not heard that. It was one of those needle-rips-off-the-record moment in the meeting, like, 'Really? I hadn't heard that.' John Harbaugh said he personally spoke to Odell about it. Because they know — they need help."

Eisen's disclosure adds credence to CBS Sports' Josina Anderson's report a few weeks ago that the Ravens were talking with Beckham.

"I mentioned that he was having conversations with the Ravens, who have already had talks as far as how he would fit into the offense, what to expect from Lamar [Jackson] from the first and the fourth quarter, who are really interested in what Odell can do for them now," Anderson said on CBS Sports HQ on Dec. 1.

Beckham visited the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys earlier this month. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told a Dallas radio station yesterday that "every day diminishes our chances" of signing the three-time Pro Bowler.

Beckham, who suffered a torn ACL in the Los Angeles Rams' Super Bowl win in February, said a couple weeks ago that he "doesn't see the point" in playing in the regular season and wants to make his return in the playoffs.

Eisen: Don't Sleep on Ravens if Lamar Jackson Comes Back Strong

Despite just watching the Ravens muster only three points against the Browns, Eisen remains convinced that Baltimore is capable of making a Super Bowl run.

Eisen, who noted how well the defense has been playing since acquiring inside linebacker Roquan Smith, said the Ravens will be dangerous if Jackson plays at a high level. Jackson, who has missed the past two games with a knee injury, did not practice yesterday but still could return for Saturday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

"Lamar's gotta come back and be the MVP," Eisen said. "Because if that MVP comes back and creates so much pressure on that front seven, then maybe somebody does get open down the field and he can find Mark Andrews on a chunk play, let alone a receiver in the end zone. But this is it. He's the MVP of this team, he's a former MVP of this league, he wants to be paid in a certain manner. Well, Superman's gotta put his cape on for this team.

"They need Lamar to come in and make these running plays and the eye-popping plays, and run straight through people's defenses and get in the end zone, and get this team's mojo back. … Lamar's gotta be 'The Lamar.' That's the difference maker. That's the guy who can transform it all. And then the defense plays the way that they're doing, and Lamar starts putting out eye-popping plays and getting in the end zone, this team still has a chance. Don't sleep on them is what I'm saying."

NFL.com Identifies Ravens' Top Three Draft Needs

NFL.com's Dan Parr and Eric Edholm looked at the first-round order for the 2023 draft heading into Week 16, along with the top three needs for each team.

For the Ravens, the top three needs were identified as cornerback, wide receiver, and edge rusher.

"We've been banging the cornerback drum for quite a while here," Edholm wrote. "The Ravens don't typically stray too far from their biggest needs with their higher draft picks. But the real test will be if one of the top non-corners is available at their first-round pick: Could they surprise and pivot to, say, running back?"

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