Ross Tucker: Odell Beckham Signing ‘Maybe The Worst Contract I’ve Ever Seen The Ravens Give Out’

The Baltimore Ravens are frequently regarded as being among the shrewdest dealers in the league. They deftly manage the salary cap, free agency, and the draft to fairly consistently remain competitive, and manage to make the postseason almost every year.

A lot of that has to do with doing smart business, but for many that seems to fly in the face of recent events. The Ravens signed free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a $15 million one-year deal, which could be worth up to $18 million. That is believed to be a much more robust offer than anybody else came up with or would have. Why?

Well, because they hope it will help them get quarterback Lamar Jackson to do business, of course. Currently sitting with an unsigned non-exclusive franchise tag, he was clearly behind the scenes with the Beckham deal, but would that make it a good contract if it aids the Ravens in getting their quarterback locked up? Ross Tucker had some thoughts.

“Fifteen million? Fully guaranteed? For a guy who will be 31, has torn his ACL twice in the last three years, has 856 yards receiving in the last three years, and didn’t play last year—at all!”, he said on the Ross Tucker Podcast. “Even the top free agent wide receivers who played and were productive last year got $11 million a year, but they had to commit themselves to their new teams for at least three years. Jakobi Meyers, [Allen] Lazzard, JuJu [Smith-Schuster]”.

That is a very fair point. Both Meyers and Lazzard signed contracts worth $11 million per season, whether for three years or four, and those were the biggest deals this offseason for the position. Smith-Schuster signed a three-year, $25.5 million deal with $16 million guaranteed.

“I really believe the Ravens way overpaid for Odell Beckham Jr. May be the worst contract I’ve ever seen the Ravens give out”, Tucker said. “They did it because they obviously think this will help them get Lamar Jackson signed, or at least get him to play for them this year. There’s no other explanation”.

If this is the worst contract the Ravens have given out, then in truth it’s not so ba. It’s only a one-year contract, even if it is substantial and for a questionable property. As has been noted, Beckham has not been healthy and productive much in recent years, and he has a history of injuries.

There was once a time where it seemed he might become the next legendary wide receiver. He held the NFL record for the most receiving yards per game for a while, before being traded to the Cleveland Browns.

As Tucker mentioned, Beckham has all of 856 receiving yards since 2020 on 67 receptions for eight touchdowns, split between the Browns and the Los Angeles Rams. He scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl for the Rams before tearing his ACL.

The 12th-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Beckham has 7,367 receiving yards on 531 catches with 56 touchdowns. He caught five touchdowns in just eight regular-season games after signing with the Rams in the middle of the 2021 season, adding two more during their title run in that postseason.

But does that make him worth $15 million right now?

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