Odell Beckham Jr. Is 'Worth Every Penny' to Ravens
One of the major talking points surrounding the Ravens and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. agreeing in principle on a one-year deal is the hefty price tag, which is reportedly $15 million guaranteed and up to $18 million with incentives.
Some pundits expected the three-time Pro Bowler would receive less than that on the open market based on his injury history (two torn ACLs, missed all of last season) and age (he turns 31 in November).
While the move obviously comes with some risk, several pundits believe it's money well spent:
NFL Network's Rich Eisen: "In case you might be sitting here saying that's too much money for the Ravens to do this, [he's] worth every penny. Worth every penny. … [The Ravens] were able to on Easter Sunday communicate to Lamar Jackson that they love him, they're ready to support him, they're ready to keep loving him and supporting him in the manner in which he's already become accustomed to. … I think it's a brilliant move."
The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec: "If there was ever a time to be a little impulsive and get out of your comfort zone by offering an above-market deal for an offensive player, this very well may be it. If the Beckham deal, which will undoubtedly contain some 'void' years to lower his 2023 cap impact, helps the Ravens in their efforts to get something done with Jackson, then it will unequivocally be money well spent.
"There's more. If this pending signing re-energizes (or pacifies) the fan base at a time when season ticket renewals await and quell some of the negativity that has enveloped the franchise, then that's worth plenty to the team, too. … At the very least, a Beckham addition at the cost of $15 million for one year will quiet some of the talks that the Ravens won't spend for outside talent at the offensive skill positions. It also prevents them from having to trade primo draft capital to land an explosive veteran receiver via a trade."
Ebony Bird’s Parker Hurley: "Jakobi Meyers signed for $11.5M, and while Odell Beckham is coming off an ACL, he is still considered better than Meyers on his best days. Corey Davis and Curtis Samuel are making over $11M as well, so you can spare me with the thought that he is not worth more than that. Even if Beckham is not quite his prime, you still take the chance at him over those names, even at the same or more money.
"Even if Odell Beckham hits all of his incentives, his deal will come in less than Diontae Johnson, Christian Kirk, Mike Williams, and Amari Cooper. At most, he would check in around 18th in salary amongst wide receivers. He currently is just inside the top 25. So, does the number look high? Yes. Would you rather take a shot on Odell Beckham over Curtis Samuel and Corey Davis? Easily."
Beckham's Decision to Join Ravens Isn't Just About Money
Beckham had been set to meet with the New York Jets on Monday before the Ravens came through with an offer he couldn't refuse. The knee-jerk reaction is that Beckham's decision to choose Baltimore was based solely on money, but CBS Sports' Josina Anderson said it isn't that simple.
While money was certainly a factor, Anderson said Beckham was impressed by the Ravens as an organization.
"A big part of that is his conversations with Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti just kind of pitching to him about what football life would be like in Baltimore and the support that he would have," Anderson said. "I believe the overall acceptance and the vibe and the warmth he was feeling from that, it's a big deal to him.
"To me, if you're a Baltimore Ravens fan, that speaks volumes to how excited the fan base should be."
Beckham in Todd Monken's Offense 'Could Be Magic'
ESPN's Marcus Spears has no doubt that Beckham can be "the guy" in Baltimore, where he will be reunited with Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken. Beckham's last 1,000-yard season was with Cleveland in 2019 when Monken was the Browns' offensive coordinator.
"Absolutely he's ready, and it's because of his makeup, and who he is," Spears said. "This was always about health; it was never about talent or what he could do at the wide receiver position. The last time we saw Odell Beckham Jr. play football, he was trending towards being the Super Bowl MVP, that's how good he was, and that was with Cooper Kupp opposite of him, who is a phenomenal wide receiver as well.
"If he stays healthy, and Todd Monken coming over from Georgia and them trying to expand and evolve this offense … this could be magic. And don't take that Instagram post lightly that him and Lamar Jackson are looking at each other."
NFL Network's David Carr also expects Beckham to shine in Baltimore.
"I think he's going to have a big-time year," Carr said. "I feel like he's going to be healthy, he's going to be motivated to play well."
The addition of a proven playmaker such as Beckham to an offense that includes Jackson, running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, wide receiver Rashod Bateman, tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely, should give opposing defenses plenty to worry about.
"This Ravens offense with Lamar Jackson as the dual threat should have the most explosive play-action passing attack in the NFL, especially if Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman are healthy," ESPN's Mina Kimes said.