PHOENIX — This week’s NFL owners meetings at the Arizona Biltmore hotel feature the top brass from teams around the league, including owners, general managers, coaches and team presidents. They typically don’t include players.
Odell Beckham Jr. is different, though.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 30-year-old free agent wide receiver strolled through the lobby of the swanky hotel. He was wearing a pair of green pants, a white T-shirt and a baseball-style cap, and is reportedly here to meet with multiple teams, including the Ravens, according to CBS NFL insider Josina Anderson.
“The love was there, good meeting…(Lot of) people and teams I bumped into,” Beckham said, according to Anderson’s tweet.
A Ravens official didn’t immediately respond to The Baltimore Sun’s request for comment and Beckham declined to speak to reporters, but the star wideout meeting with Baltimore is a notable development on multiple fronts.
[ Ravens coach John Harbaugh: ‘We’re going to draft a receiver’ ]
First, his appearance came a day after Lamar Jackson tweeted that he told the Ravens on March 2 that he’d like to be traded, with the sides at a two-yearslong impasse on contract negotiations and the quarterback saying the team hasn’t been interested in “meeting my value.” Ravens coach John Harbaugh, in addressing the team’s continued needs at wide receiver after the recent signing of Nelson Agholor, also said Monday with respect to wideouts, “We’re not done yet.”
While adding Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who has 531 catches and 56 touchdowns across eight seasons, would be a much-needed boost to the Ravens’ receiving corps, his appearance isn’t necessarily an indicator that the team would sign him.
For one, Baltimore has just over $6.1 million in salary cap space and Pro Football Talk reported that he was looking for a deal in the $15 million to $20 million range. Beckham shot that down earlier this month on Twitter but added that $4 million “ain’t enough.” In short, the Ravens don’t have a lot of wiggle room.
For another, Beckham, who has a home in the Phoenix area and trains nearby, has already had high-profile visits with multiple teams, including the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. He also earlier this month held a private workout in Arizona, which the Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns and Ravens, along with the Giants and Bills, attended, according to multiple reports. He also met with the New York Jets on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
In other words, he’s meeting with a lot of teams.
Baltimore Ravens Insider
Beyond money and potential suitors, there are other questions. Most notable among them is the fact that Beckham is coming off a second torn ACL and missed the entire 2022 season after winning a Super Bowl with the Rams.
There’s also the uncertainty surrounding Jackson’s future in Baltimore. Adding Beckham to the fold, however, could be an attractive carrot for Jackson to get a deal done.
When healthy, Beckham, who has had stints with the Giants, Browns and Rams, has proved to be one of the league’s better receivers. In 2021, his last healthy season before he tore his ACL with the Rams in Super Bowl LVI, he received a 76.5 grade from Pro Football Focus after catching 48 passes for 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games.
Beckham would also immediately upgrade a young receivers group that is led by Rashod Bateman , who is coming off a season-ending Lisfranc (foot) injury, and Agholor, who battled a hamstring injury last season and was on the field for just 45% of the Patriots’ snaps.
Harbaugh also said Monday that the team will draft a wide receiver this April.
Still, the possibility is intriguing.
“Obj looks like a Raven to me is all I’m saying,” Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey tweeted last week.