Ravens Sign Odell Beckham Jr.

New Ravens WR Odell Beckham
New Ravens WR Odell Beckham
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a one-year deal worth between $15 and $18 million. There's a $1.2 million base salary, $13.8 million signing bonus, and $3 million in possible incentives. That's probably more guaranteed money than anybody expected for Beckham.

It's an interesting signing for a number of reasons. The Ravens have been trying to upgrade their wide receiver corps for years now. I know there's a sense that they don't care about the position, but they spent a first-round pick on Rashod Bateman for example, only to see him constantly get injured. Beckham should be a big addition. Does this tell us something about the negotiations with Lamar Jackson, though? Did OBJ sign knowing that Jackson is coming back? Or did he sign not knowing who his quarterback is going to be?

It's worth noting that by Football Outsiders stats, Beckham had his two worst seasons before the ACL tear he suffered in Super Bowl LVI. In 2020, he had only 13 DYAR and 3.5% DVOA in seven games for the Browns. In 2021, he had 0 DYAR and -12.6% DVOA in 14 regular-season games for the Browns and Rams. Beckham's catch rate, never below 60% in his early career, has been 56% or lower in the last three seasons.

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45 comments, Last at 17 Apr 2023, 11:22am

#1 by Theo // Apr 09, 2023 - 9:22pm

A sign of life!

Welcome back.

Points: 0

#6 by dmb // Apr 10, 2023 - 10:41am

Since this was posted by Aaron rather than by one of their contractors, unfortunately I'm not sure it's safe to assume there's been any real movement in getting the contractors paid.

Points: 5

#10 by ChrisLong // Apr 10, 2023 - 11:52am

Can you clarify what this means? Is FO negotiating with contractors aka the other FO writers?

Points: 1

#12 by dmb // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:15pm

Champion Gaming, the parent company of FO, owes FO contractors (Bryan Knowles, Cale Clinton, Tom Strachan, Jackson Roberts) thousands of dollars for delivered work from as far back as December. They've also been late on payroll for salaried personnel. To be clear, all FO writers -- whether salaried or contracted -- who have commented on the matter publicly have indicated that blame lies with Champion, and not with Aaron or any of the other salaried FO staff.

The contractors went public with the dispute last week and indicated that it's the reason for the slowdown with XPs and other content; as far as I know, there still hasn't been meaningful action taken by Champion to resolve the situation.


Points: 6

#15 by BigRichie // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:28pm

Oh crap. If Aaron could finance this operation on his own, he'd still own it. So will there be an FOA 2023??

Points: 0

#18 by ChrisLong // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:46pm

Oh crap, that's shitty. I hope it gets resolved for the good of all the FO writers we know and love!

Points: 1

#20 by MarkV // Apr 10, 2023 - 1:49pm

My favorite was the initial response from CG which was basically - yup we don't have money, but we are working on it.

Points: 0

#28 by Aaron Brooks G… // Apr 10, 2023 - 4:10pm

In part this is because their public records indicate that Champion are hundredaires, although their debtors are millionaires. 

Points: 0

#17 by Theo // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:40pm

I am aware that Aaron might just do this out of contractual obligations, or just to keep the site on life support. He's worked on it for nearly 20 years now... 

Points: 2

#21 by Noahrk // Apr 10, 2023 - 1:57pm

Or because it's not over til it's over. He should do what he can until he's looked at all the options and it's absolutely certain there's no way forward. We'll see, but I'm sure he'll find a way.

Points: 1

#36 by bravehoptoad // Apr 11, 2023 - 12:12pm

I've been reading for 20 years. It would be a sadder internet without FO on it.

Points: 5

#37 by Theo // Apr 11, 2023 - 12:36pm

#Me too.

It's been a while.

Announcers still really have you know that you have to establish a rythm though. 

Points: -1

#38 by bravehoptoad // Apr 11, 2023 - 2:40pm

When I think about the possibility FO might close, I get the same sick feeling I got when my favorite bookstores would close.

Points: 1

#39 by mansteel // Apr 11, 2023 - 3:00pm

Can we (the readers of the site) just all agree to move en masse to some other site? I certainly like FO's content but I enjoy the comments just as much--a bastion of (relative) intelligence, civility, and sanity in the otherwise hostile wasteland of internet comment sections.

Points: 8

#2 by guest from Europe // Apr 10, 2023 - 5:09am

This is confusing. Smith-Schuster got $8.5M/year+incentives. Meyers $11M/year. Both have team option years added. And injured, much older Beckham $15M? His stats are worse than those two WRs. For Rams he had about 50 yards/game. Not some great volume where DVOA would be lower.

Patriots did this well and Ravens what the hell?

Points: 1

#3 by whocares4 // Apr 10, 2023 - 7:42am

It's an overtly terrible signing, which is probably why it took so long to happen and why it was done by a team in a very peculiar situation.

Points: 2

#4 by JudoPrince03 // Apr 10, 2023 - 10:01am

So if he has a pro bowl level year its still a terrible signing? lol How can you draw this conclusion? 

Points: -4

#7 by bravehoptoad // Apr 10, 2023 - 10:44am

Simple: you can draw this conclusion by assessing the facts on hand before the signing. 

He might end up being the worst or the best, but you want your process right for the next time you sign a WR.

Points: 5

#9 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Apr 10, 2023 - 11:42am



The chances of him having a probowl season are significantly lower than those of Smith-Schuster or Myers, or a handful of other receivers who signed for less. He's old, frequently injured, and coming off a major injury. Giving him a ton of money guaranteed is a bad decision, whether or not it works out. 

Points: 4

#22 by JudoPrince03 // Apr 10, 2023 - 3:09pm

Sure, maybe a low chance he has a probowl season, but last we saw of Odel, he was an impact player for the Rams late in that season. It's a one year deal, never heard of a poor contract that was only for one season.  Zero risk beyond this season, and where is the opportunity cost? There is no better WR currently sitting in free agency and the Ravens are in need of a proven vetern who could make an Anquon Boldin level run. 

Points: -6

#40 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Apr 12, 2023 - 9:29am

Yes, 37 yards on 8 targets is an "impact" - just not the sort of impact you want. Odell Beckham Jr. is the furthest thing from 'proven' at this point. He's old, unreliable, and has a history of quitting on teams. 

Points: 2

#11 by MarkV // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:10pm

His last quality season (per FO stats) was 2015.  Other stat systems like his 2016 season too.  Its been a very long time since OBJ was good.

You might argue that his volume and stats in 2018 and 2019 were ok, and its worth overpaying for that kind of production.  Which is ok, except that its been 3 years and an ACL since then.

He has not been good in a very long time, and this is a lot of money.

Points: 4

#5 by guest from Europe // Apr 10, 2023 - 10:34am

Ravens need WRs. They also signed Agholor cheaply. Why they signed these 2 and not Smith-Schuster and Meyers for about $20M per year is what i don't understand.

Points: 2

#8 by Noahrk // Apr 10, 2023 - 11:12am

Possibly because they couldn't get the other two and with OBJ visiting the Jets today and a weak WR draft class they felt it was either overpay or come out empty-handed. It's a bad year to need receivers and few need them more than the Ravens. To compound that, they're not an attractive destination for a WR who wishes to post good numbers.

Points: 3

#13 by dryheat // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:20pm

Does this tell us something about the negotiations with Lamar Jackson, though? Did OBJ sign knowing that Jackson is coming back?


Possibly.  It's also possible that the Ravens have closed the door on Lamar, and need to sell their fanbase something.

Points: 0

#16 by BigRichie // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:34pm

Silly question asking why OBJ signed with the Ravens. There are $15 million dead obvious reasons why (good job, OBJ's agent)

I can't imagine OBJ selling a single ticket at this stage of his career. But if the Ravens have closed the door on Lamar, they are now sitting on a whole lot of excess cap $$$.

Points: 1

#29 by Aaron Brooks G… // Apr 10, 2023 - 4:14pm

They don't actually have excess cap $ unless their rescind Jackson's franchise tag offer -- and if they do so, he's immediately an UFA.

Points: 1

#31 by KnotMe // Apr 10, 2023 - 5:37pm

Still, the only way this makes sense is if the Ravens decided they had cap space they couldn't spend anywhere else. He's the not the worst guy to take a chance on and a one year deal makes total sense but that is a surprising amount for a guy a that career stage and history. 

Points: 1

#14 by BigRichie // Apr 10, 2023 - 12:24pm

My guess is the Ravens waited on WR free agent negotiations due to not knowing what they'd have to spend on the position given Lamar being totally up in the air. Then when everybody signed a lot quicker than they'd bargained on, it was 'Oh crap, who's left?! That's all? Oh crap, how much will he cost?! Oh crap, what other options have we?! Oh crap.'

Points: 2

#19 by guest from Europe // Apr 10, 2023 - 1:14pm

Shouldn't someone in Ravens' front office be fired for this?

WR position is their weak point. It always is. They don't develop WRs well. Their best WR ever was Old S. Smith. They knew this and did what exactly for a month now?

They could have at least traded for Hopkins and his $17M/year unguaranteed salary instead of signing Beckham. 

Points: 0

#23 by JudoPrince03 // Apr 10, 2023 - 3:13pm

Why would they give up a first round pick to take on Hopkins contract, who will likely want to renegotiate anyway to make even more money on longer terms, over OBJ? This is a plug and play veteran who potentially offers massive upside if he's back to what he was in the final few games with the Rams. 

Points: -4

#24 by BigRichie // Apr 10, 2023 - 3:41pm

"OBJ" and "massive upside". Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. Matter of fact, haven't been for years. For how many years now have you not been paying attention? At all??

Points: 3

#26 by guest from Europe // Apr 10, 2023 - 4:04pm

I don't think Hopkins would take to get more than 4th or 5th round pick. Ramsey, who is a younger player at a similar position just got traded for draft pick no. 77. Gilmore for 5th round pick. Julio Jones moved around recently on cheap contract... Hopkins has 2 years left on his contract and probably won't get another one.

Beckham, if healthy, is a WR2 at this point. He was that for Rams. Ravens don't have a WR1.

Points: 1

#25 by spybloom // Apr 10, 2023 - 3:55pm

Their best WR ever was Old S. Smith

Hey now. They also had old Derrick Mason and old Anquan Boldin

Points: 6

#32 by KnotMe // Apr 10, 2023 - 6:45pm

here's a $1.2 million base salary, $13.8 million signing bonus, and $3 million in possible incentives.


Anyone know why they would structure it like that? It's only a one year deal so it seems like putting most of it as base salary would sense as they they could (in theory) trade him mid season if it made sense. (they were out, he put up good number and someone gave them a good deal). Can they some how spread it over two years (which kinda seems odd as I'd rather soak the cap hit in one year honestly)

Points: 0

#33 by BigRichie // Apr 10, 2023 - 8:20pm

Just a way of guaranteeing that much of the contract, I'd imagine. If $13.8 base and $1.2 signing bonus, then the contract would be for anywhere between $1.2 and $18 mil. This way they're stuck with OBJ at this price.

Points: 1

#34 by MaineRaider // Apr 11, 2023 - 9:23am

Who are their next FA signings going to be? Michael Crabtree and JJ Watt?

Points: 2

#35 by almon // Apr 11, 2023 - 11:33am

TO will sign ... if he won't, Ocho Cinco will!

Points: 3

#42 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 16, 2023 - 6:39pm

Signing bonus alone is too much. But he's still a rosterable bet that Lamar wanted. 

Points: 0

#43 by guest from Europe // Apr 17, 2023 - 9:22am

"a rosterable bet" is a weird phrase. What does this mean? That he is worthy of a roster spot?

I would really like to know your opinion or opinion of any Packers fan on the Rodgers' situation. What should do Packers do? Maybe you can post some link to some reasonable discussion of Packers fans on this topic. Or do you have any information what are the Packers' management people doing the last 2 offseasons. I am really curious.

Points: 0

#44 by guest from Europe // Apr 17, 2023 - 11:17am

I have spent about half an hour now reading some Ravens' fan forum. They really like this signing! They think the cap number is low and Beckham will be good and they hope he is not too good so that they don't have to pay $20M next year and are already counting compensatory draft picks that they will get for him... they think a group of Beckham, Bateman, Agholor and Andrews will be the best pass catchers they ever had and will be among the best in the league.

As for Jackson, they think now that he is coming back for 1 year. Those same fans at the same forum were writing they don't want him when the news of his trade request came. They were hoping he would be traded to Colts and were discussing rookie QBs. They think only Mahomes among veterans is good enough, otherwise you need a QB on a rookie deal like Purdy or Hurts. 

They are writing about what "Steve" (the Ravens owner), "EDC" (GM) and "John" (coach) think and who should they trade for. Some don't like "John".

Now, why am i writing this? It's an interesting sociology experiment what and who people indentify themselves with. In this case they think EDC is a genius and don't like the player Jackson anymore. Only 1 fan indentifies himself as Jackson's father and talks about his baby. If somebody told me all of this this, i wouldn't believe it. 

Points: 0

#45 by theslothook // Apr 17, 2023 - 11:22am

There's a reason this site exists and why I only frequent the forums on this site. Fans are fans, fickle by nature and often irascible. You can get interesting analysis from those places but you have to wade through a lot of muck to do it. Happily, this site is different and hopefully stays that way.

Points: 0

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