What are the risks of the Jets signing Odell Beckham Jr.?

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — A week ago, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. worked out in Arizona in front of an estimated 14 teams, including the Jets.

But Beckham continues to wait for a lucrative contract offer from a club.

The free agent is looking for a contract worth $20 million annually, according to a recent report from ProFootballTalk. However, Beckham denied this in a tweet.

“I’m just so confused where the quote is from me tht said I want 20,” Beckham said. “All I’m sayin is 4 AINT enough.”

It remains to be seen what type of offer Beckham gets, but the Jets are rumored to be interested. Aaron Rodgers gave the Jets, who are in talks with the Packers to acquire the four-time NFL MVP, a wish list of players he wants the team to sign, ESPN reported. Beckham was reportedly one of the names on Rodgers’ list.

While he denied having a wish list, Rodgers seemed intrigued about playing with Beckham.

“Who wouldn’t want to have Odell on their team,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show” last week.

The Jets don’t have a wide receiver need at the moment. But a luxury signing like Beckham would be great for the team, provided both sides can make it work. There’s also some risk involved for the Jets.

The former Giants star missed the entire 2022 season after tearing his ACL in Super Bowl LVI. Halfway through last season, Beckham attempted to show teams he was ready to play, but went unsigned.

If the Jets are going to sign Beckham, it will first come down to cost.

What does the annual figure look like if the $20 million a year rumors aren’t correct? Even beyond missing all of last year, Beckham has only played at least 14 games in a season once during the last three years.

As a member of the Browns in 2020, Beckham played in seven games and recorded 23 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns before tearing his ACL. He returned for the 2021 season, but Beckham had a subpar year before he was waived and then later signed with the Rams halfway through the season. As he helped Los Angeles reach the Super Bowl, Beckham registered 27 catches for 305 yards and five TDs in eight games.

The Jets should be first in line if Beckham is willing to take an incentive-laden contract. However, with Garrett Wilson in the fold and the team signing Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million contract last week, signing Beckham isn’t a priority.

If Beckham and the Jets can find a price that both sides like, how would he fit offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s system? Along with Wilson and Lazard, the Jets have Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims on the roster. There’s also a chance the Jets will sign veteran Randall Cobb, one of Rodgers’ best friends and former Packers teammate.

Wilson and Lazard would be the Jets’ primary outside receivers, Beckham would be used mainly in the slot. That means fewer balls for Moore, who was already unhappy about his role in previous offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s system last season.

Some receivers are divas and always demand the ball. Do the Jets want a situation where they’re taking opportunities away from a young Moore for an aging Beckham? And if they do sign Cobb, Rodgers will naturally rely on a familiar face.

Before the Browns released him in 2021, Beckham was unhappy with his role. What happens if the Jets aren’t targeting Beckham regularly? Will he ask for a trade or his release, much like he did when he was with the Browns?

Beckham might be looking for more than $4 million annually, but the Jets shouldn’t go overboard for a player coming off his second ACL surgery in three years. Also, even before the second ACL injury, Beckham was far removed from the player he was with the Giants when he was averaging 78 receptions for 1,095 yards and eight touchdowns from 2014-18.

The Jets have needs at defensive tackle, linebacker and on their offensive line. Gang Green should focus its attention on addressing those needs. If they are still interested in acquiring a receiver at a low risk, selecting one in the third or fourth round could be the way for the Jets to go.