This afternoon, Odell Beckham Jr. finally made his departure from the Cleveland Browns and hit the waiver wire, where he will be available to be claimed by any team. If he’s not claimed by 4 p.m. Tuesday, he’ll become a free agent, which will allow him to sign anywhere.
The Eagles currently sit eighth on the waiver wire – although in this case, they really sit 6th since the Lions and Giants have already stated they won’t be placing a claim for OBJ. The Birds are also one of nine teams that have enough cap space to add Beckham. So the opportunity presents itself for Philadelphia to nab a new WR – but should they? While there are arguments to support a waiver claim for Beckham, there are also negatives that could arise should this move be made.
Why The Eagles SHOULD Claim Beckham Jr.
1. Even with his injury concerns and decline, OBJ is an obvious WR2 upgrade
Beckham is far gone from the days of making one-handed catches in the end zone, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be a productive receiver. OBJ would instantly slot in as the Eagles’ WR2, and would be a major upgrade over Jalen Reagor, who continues to not live up to his first-round selection in his sophomore year.
Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith would be benefit greatly from a Beckham addition – Hurts would have another decent weapon to throw to, and Smith would get some coverage off of him. Say what you want about OBJ (and don’t worry – we will), but it’s clear the offensive would be better with him than without him.
2. An OBJ addition could bring excitement to the team and fanbase
There’s currently not a lot to be excited about regarding the Eagles. A lot of players are having bad or underwhelming campaigns, and the coaching staff deserves to be criticized mercilessly for their play calling.
A Beckham acquisition could get the fans back on board. It would be a divisive grab for sure – I can already hear sports radio hosts and listeners getting ready to scream their heads off. But it would get a lot more people watching the downtrodden Eagles, and it could also give the team a splash of life. They’re certainly in need of some rejuvenation.
3. OBJ could provide a veteran presence for the Eagles
While Beckham would theoretically cut into their playing time, players such as Reagor and Quez Watkins could actually benefit in another aspect should the Eagles claim OBJ. The Philadelphia WR core is quite young – Smith and Reagor are both 22, while Watkins is 23. The Eagles really don’t have a veteran presence, unless you wanna count Greg Ward (26). Perhaps getting someone with Beckham’s experience could be beneficial for players who are still trying to find themselves in the NFL.
Why The Eagles SHOULDN’T Claim Beckham Jr.
1. Beckham Jr. wants to play for a contender – and their could be issues if he doesn’t
The Eagles currently sit at 3-6, and while they’re “technically” in the hunt for the last wild card spot, until they string together consecutive wins, you can safely say they’re not a playoff team. According to reports, that won’t fly with Beckham.
Beckham has a desire to land on a contender, and there could be “issues” if Beckham isn’t put in a “winning environment.” Threatening a future employer’s workplace is certainly a… bold way of going about a relocation process.
There’s no way of knowing whether the supposed report is just a bluff by Beckham’s camp or if the wide receiver actually plains on being a cancerous pain-in-the-ass if he lands somewhere he doesn’t like. Even if it’s a bluff, it just might be enough to make the Eagles pass. After all, they’ve got enough on their hands with players throwing obvious bits of shade at defensive coordinator Jonathon Gannon. They don’t need more drama, especially one that would cost $7.25 million.
2. OBJ’s inconsistencies might not be worth taking the risk on
Over the past two seasons, Beckham has had a string of injuries hold him to just 13 games played. He hasn’t exactly shined when he’s been available, either – he accrued just 551 receiving yards and three touchdowns in that time, and only passed the 100-yard mark in a single game twice in three years with Cleveland.
There’s no given that OBJ remains injury-free the rest of the season, especially in an organization that isn’t known for keeping their players in the best health. And even then, how much will he actually contribute to a seriously broken offensive scheme? You can’t expect pre-Cleveland Beckham to just suddenly show up out of nowhere. There might be just too many unknowns here for the Eagles to take a chance on Beckham.
3. The team should focus on getting its younger receivers more experience
Philadelphia is in the midst of an identity crisis and faces a ton of questions when it comes to the future of this offense. The only certainty seems to be DeVonta Smith, who is coming off a 116 yard, one score game. Besides him, the rest of the receiving core is… well, we don’t know what it is.
While Reagor and Watkins are having undeniably disappointing seasons, the Eagles shouldn’t just give up on them yet. Perhaps it would be wiser to not bring in veterans that would limit Watkins’ and Reagor’s playing time, and instead let the young players continue to try and show why they deserve to be a part of the team’s future.
Even if the duo doesn’t show any improvements, at least the team can say they at least tried to evaluate before making major ramifications to the receiving corps.