Could Odell Beckham Jr. help Packers' receiving corps … in 2023?
A deal to bring OBJ to the Packers never materialized in 2022, but the two sides could have plenty to offer each other next season.
For months, Odell Beckham Jr. represented a potential savior to fan bases of multiple teams. The three-time Pro Bowl wideout supercharged a Los Angeles Rams offense down the stretch of the 2021 season and helped the franchise secure its first Lombardi Trophy since returning to California. While an ACL tear suffered during Super Bowl LVI put Beckham's next destination on hold, the league at large anticipated he would return to the field by the late fall.
Over the past month, the star wide receiver publicly flirted with the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and other teams. Beckham visited Buffalo at the behest of Bills pass rusher Von Miller while Dallas owner Jerry Jones teased the notion of signing OBJ on multiple radio appearances. The wideout even publicly appeared with Cowboys players at an NBA game, stoking the rumor mill into overdrive.
But now, Beckham's future on the football field seems as clouded as ever. The Cowboys ultimately declined the opportunity to add him to their receiving corps, citing concerns about his health as the primary reason for passing on his services. They then signed veteran T.Y. Hilton instead to seemingly close the book on the Beckham pursuit. The Bills too lost interest, pivoting instead to the recently retired Cole Beasley.
Meanwhile, word has leaked out that Beckham's rehab will likely keep Beckham off the field for the foreseeable future. According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the receiver currently "is just not ready to play" 10 months removed from knee reconstruction, "hasn't put pads on and hasn't run his full route tree," and "left teams with more unknowns than knowns."
Between the unfruitful club visits and the news that Beckham has plenty of road left to travel in his recovery, it seems increasingly likely that he doesn't see the field at all this season. That would represent a substantial and disconcerting development for a player deemed to have playoff-shifting potential just months earlier.
In terms of trajectory, the Green Bay Packers have endured a similarly disappointing 2022. The team entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations buoyed by the return of two-time reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and a reloaded defense. Instead, the Packers fell well short of expectation, losing five straight games during a stretch from October to November. They enter Week 15 with a 5-8 record and only an outside chance of a wild-card berth. Even in the extremely unlikely event that Green Bay qualifies for the playoffs, the notion of a Super Bowl run seems preposterous at this stage.
But while the year hasn't unfolded as hoped for either Beckham or the Packers, the two sides might have plenty to offer each other come 2023.