When Odell Beckham Jr. was weighing his options, Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti helped tip the scales.
After Bisciotti and Beckham had a heart-to-heart discussion, the veteran wide receiver called his agent and told himto finalize a deal with the Ravens. Several teams were in pursuit of Beckham, but his conversation with Bisciotti helped seal the deal.
"He had me fired up," Beckham said at his introductory press conference. "Him reaching out was really (what) I felt like set it over the edge.
"We chopped it up, two men talking. It wasn't so much the business side, everything that was going on. He made feel wanted. Somebody wants me to be here, wants me to be great, wants me to be a part of this team. At this point in my life, that's the thing that I needed is to be wanted."
The Ravens had been in contact with Beckham for months, a long courtship that began last October when Beckham was sitting out the 2022 season with a torn ACL. Beckham was always interested in Baltimore, but he had other suitors including the New York Jets, who had planned to meet with Beckham on April 10.
Instead, the Ravens agreed to contract terms with Beckham on Easter Sunday, the day before he was supposed to meet with the Jets. General Manager Eric DeCosta described the Ravens as the "underdogs" in the Beckham sweepstakes, but relished in the fact that sometimes the underdog wins.
Many factors contributed toBeckham's decision. He is excited about the possibility of playing with Lamar Jackson, he has always respected Head Coach John Harbaugh, he believes the Ravens are built to win. Another factor is that Beckham already has a positive relationship with Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken after their one season working together (2019) with the Browns.
That 2019 year with Monken was Beckham's last 1,000-yard season, and he knows people are wondering if he can still be a dominant receiver at age 30 after two torn ACL's. However, the Ravens were impressed after evaluating Beckham's recent workout for NFL teams in Phoenix that was attended by Assistant Wide Receiver Coach Keith Williams.
Once the Ravens studied tape of that workout, they were convinced Beckham could be a major piece of their 2023 offense. Joining the Baltimore gives Beckham a chance for another fresh start, and he wants to reward the Ravens for believing in him.
"This is a team that has great talent all across the board – offensive line, running backs, receiving room, defense is great," Beckham said. "It boiled down to, I'm at a place in my life where it means a lot more to be wanted. They showed that they wanted me to be here. Not to say that no one else did, but they believed in me. I'm going to come here and put my best foot forward every day."