Late in the courting of one former star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. following his release from the Cleveland Browns, there was one surprise team that was involved very late in the process, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport: the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to an early Sunday morning report ahead of the Steelers’ matchup with the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field, Rapoport released a report stating the Steelers made a “last-ditch run” at the former star receiver, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering the injury to Chase Claypool that will likely linger the rest of the season.
“He received an offer at the veteran’s minimum from the Packers, while most of the rest of the offers were around a $1 million base salary with a chance to make a few more million with incentives,” Rapoport writes. “The Chiefs, Patriots, Seahawks, Saints and Packers all made offers, as did the Rams.
“Interestingly, when Beckham was narrowing it down, the Steelers called to make a play, too. But by then, he was on to finalists.”
The fact that the Steelers called to make a play really shouldn’t be surprising. OBJ is still a talented receiver that is able to create separation and get open in the NFL. He’s certainly struggled in recent years with injuries and underperformance, but Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin will never shy away from talent, and that’s what OBJ remains.
Getting involved late in the process certainly appears to be a product of the Steelers reacting to the Claypool injury news and trying to add proven depth to a position that has struggled with health all season long and is already missing JuJu Smith-Schuster.
In the end, OBJ landed with the Los Angeles Rams, which came at an opportune time as Robert Woods tore his ACL Friday and will miss the rest of the season, but it’s interesting to think about what could have been if the Steelers got involved in the race for OBJ earlier in the process.