Aaron Rodgers wants OBJ, but should the New York Jets want him?
Aaron Rodgers seems to want Odell Beckham Jr. with him on the New York Jets next season.
Gang Green’s presumptive new quarterback has reportedly provided the team with a “free agency wish list” of sorts, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini. The 30-year-old receiver is among the names.
Aaron Rodgers has provided the NY Jets with a wish-list of free agents he would like them to target and acquire, per sources.
It includes Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis and….Odell Beckham Jr.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 14, 2023
Other names on the list include a few ex-Packers in Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis, but Beckham is far-and-away the biggest (and most talented) name included.
Just because Rodgers wants Beckham, though, doesn’t mean it’s bound to happen. Should the Jets go for it?
Signing the former Giant, Brown and Ram would certainly break from the mold of Joe Douglas’s previous roster additions, most of whom can be characterized as high-quality, good-for-the-culture, locker room guys.
Beckham is… not that.
The polarizing receiver has appeared in countless headlines over his career — not all of them positive. From the plane incident this past January, to his 2016 debacle with the sideline kicking net. From the “money daps” after LSU’s 2019 National Championship, to his father calling out Baker Mayfield for purposely not throwing to his son. The point is, where OBJ goes, headlines tend to follow. There’s also his history of recurring injuries.
Here’s the thing, though: Beckham is a super talented football player. And the last time we saw him in NFL action, he recorded 21 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns across the Rams’ four-game playoff run. Judging by the videos and reports from his recent workout with NFL teams (including the Jets) in attendance, it seems like he’s recovered nicely from his ACL tear.
It’s worth noting that the Packers were interested in Beckham back in 2021 before he ultimately signed with the Rams. Now, Rodgers has another chance at playing with him.
Beckham has already proven he’s built for the bright lights of New York City, having skyrocketed to stardom during his rookie season for the Giants. It goes without saying that fans of the Jets’ crosstown rivals wouldn’t be too happy seeing their former superstar dawning the green and white. That alone would presumably make Jets fans happy.
The Giants themselves are also interested in (re)acquiring Beckham’s talents for the 2023 season. Other teams connected to him include the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams and others.
The question of whether to sign Beckham comes down to how “all-in” of a season this is for the Jets. Recent reports suggest the team is well aware that landing Rodgers means they’re pushing all their chips in, so pairing him with a free agent like Beckham could be the move that makes all the difference.
The off-the-field issues would personally scare me away, but if Beckham is truly a major key in landing Rodgers, you have to do it. With the uncertainty surrounding Beckham’s preferences, it seems more likely that the other players on Rodgers’ list were more “requirements” for his approval of a trade to the Jets, while Beckham was more of an “if you can get him” inclusion.
As we’ve already come to learn, though, you really never know with Rodgers.
Ian Roddy is on Twitter @IanRoddy_