Whether you want to admit it or not, the Tennessee Titans have to have a conversation about whether or not they should sign Odell Beckham Jr.
The former New York Giants and Cleveland Browns receiver is one of the most talented but enigmatic pass catchers in the NFL.
If you ignore the 2017 season where Beckham was injured early, his career started with five “consecutive” seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving. That stopped in 2020 when he missed more than half the season with an injury and he finished with 319 receiving yards.
This season Beckham was on pace for ~600 yards before the relationship quickly turned sour in Cleveland. Now it is being reported that after the financials are figured out, the Browns will release OBJ on his 29th birthday.
Should the Tennessee Titans sign Odell Beckham Jr?
OBJ has to pass through waivers first, but it is going to be hard for anyone to claim him without being confident that he is willing to play for their team. Odell Beckham Jr. has to look at this season as a jumping-off point for what might be his last big contract.
To that end, he should be looking for three things in a potential team.
First, he needs a team that is going to make the playoffs with or without him so that there isn’t too much pressure on him early.
Second, since this is his penultimate bite of the apple, he should also look for a team where he can make the most money possible in 2021.
Finally, he should be in an offense that lets him play in the slot.
People don’t talk about it, but OBJ is at his best when he gets to move around. There have been four seasons where he has played in the slot 20% of the time, and he has 1,000+ receiving yards in each of those seasons.
Conversely, in the four seasons where he has played less than 20% of the snaps in the slot, he has one season with 1,000+ receiving yards.
That all comes back to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are 6-2 and miles ahead of their AFC South rivals. The Colts are the next closest team and they are likely going to have to win at least 7 of their last 8 games to catch up to Tennessee.
Looking specifically at the current division winners, the Titans and the Baltimore Ravens are the teams with the most cap space by a wide margin (according to Spotrac).
Checking the final box, the Titans move their receivers around a lot, and with a trio of Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, and Odell Beckham you could see OBJ take plenty of reps in the slot.
You have to balance culture fit and his impact on the locker room, but with Mike Vrabel, Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Taylor Lewan, Ben Jones, Rodger Saffold, Adrian Peterson, Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, Jeffery Simmons, and Harold Landry, you have to assume that this group could keep the locker room where it needs to be for a year.
It is all going to come down whether the Titans want to take this risk and push to be the top seed in the AFC playoffs, or if they decide not to rock the boat and take their chances as the #3 or #4 seed.
If they take the risk, there is a chance that the Tennessee Titans could have Adrian Peterson, Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and a rested Derrick Henry all ready to take snaps in the playoffs. That is even more dangerous if they get the extra bye week and Henry gets another full week of rest.