No Time Like the Present for The Vikings & Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Truth be told, I don’t know if a marriage involving the Vikings & Odell Beckham Jr. makes a lot of sense.

Personal quibbles aside, it’s hard to overlook the possibility. We may soon learn that Adam Thielen is on the way out, a byproduct of the veteran’s humongous cap hit and declining statistical production. In the past, I’ve advocated for K.J. Osborn to be the WR2, but sensible minds disagree on that point.

If the team is looking for a veteran to challenge for the WR2 spot, then OBJ is someone to consider.

Dec 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

A couple seasons ago, the former LSU receiver was instrumental in pushing Los Angeles over the Super-Bowl hump.

As a rookie, Odell Beckham Jr. was truly marvellous, averaging a sensational 108.8 yards per game. His 1305 receiving yards arrived after only playing 12 games, starting 11. As a rookie. In other words, his per-game average for yards far exceeded a certain young phenom currently rewriting the record books in Minnesota.

Beckham would go on to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019, but has yet to do so since. He missed all of last season recovering from an injury he suffered in the Super Bowl. He averaged 38.4 yards per game in 2021, easily the lowest total of his career. Last season, Thielen actually averaged 42.1 yards per game.

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) makes a touchdown reception against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

At his best, OBJ is a supremely elusive playmaker who wins on crossing routes. His incredible hands allow him to make sensational catches, plays that most NFL wideouts can’t make. Given that he’s 30, coming off a major injury, and didn’t play in 2022, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be at his best in 2022, though.

Kevin O’Connell and Wes Phillips will know him well from their shared time with the Rams. Now, that doesn’t mean they have a great working relationship and that there is a guaranteed upper hand for Minnesota. What it does mean, though, is that the potential is there to seamlessly transition him into the offense, especially since he’ll be tasked with taking the heat off of Justin Jefferson rather than being the main option.

Spotrac contends that his deal could average $13.1 million annually. Perhaps he’ll get that number, but it won’t be shocking if he has to settle for considerably less. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding him. The Vikings would likely balk at that price unless it was structured in a similar manner to Za’Darius Smith’s deal.

In the end, it’s hard to insist that the Vikings are definitively in on Beckham. Nevertheless, there has been a lot of smoke in this situation, so perhaps there really is a fire. The Jefferson connection, familiarity with the coaching staff, and potential need at WR2 give credence to the theory.

If the partnership was ever going to take place for the Vikings and Odell Beckham Jr., there is no time like the present.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.