Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t played a snap in the NFL in more than 13 months since tearing his ACL during the second quarter of the Los Angeles Rams‘ Super Bowl victory. Since then, the two-time All-Pro wideout has been regularly discussed as an option in Green Bay, including several times by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and by Beckham himself.
Beckham confirmed the Packers’ attempts to sign him in November of last year. But the deal never got done, as Beckham suffered setbacks in his attempts to get healthy and the Packers struggled to remain postseason relevant until a late-year run that left them just one win shy the playoffs.
With a similarly young and inexperienced receiver room this season, Beckham remained a viable option at the top of a weak free agent class for a Green Bay franchise in need of a playmaking pass-catcher.
Then, however, all hell broke loose when it became clear that the Packers intended to trade Rodgers to the Jets, and Rodgers intended to support the move. The developments have taken Green Bay out of the mix for Beckham, though they appear to have cleared a path for Beckham and Rodgers to team up in New York.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported mutual interest between Beckham and the Jets in getting a deal done during a Thursday, March 23 appearance on Get Up.
“We should very much consider Odell Beckham Jr. still on the table as an option for the New York Jets,” Darlington said. “In fact, we can go even further to say that both sides would still like to see this done.”
Rodgers Expressed Interest in Beckham Joining Him With Jets
Rodgers is clearly on board with Beckham landing his plane with the Jets, per a report from ESPN’s Dianna Russini that the quarterback added the receiver’s name to his personnel wish list just a little over one week ago.
“Aaron Rodgers has provided the NY Jets with a wish list of free agents he would like them to target and acquire, per sources,” Russini tweeted on March 14. “It includes Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis and … Odell Beckham Jr.”
Rodgers subsequently denied that he had provided any such list to the Jets, though Lazard is already signed to a four-year deal worth $44 million in New York, while the franchise has also been tied to Lewis and tied to Cobb in free agency.
Rodgers, Beckham May Have to Wait on Union as Packers Stall Trade Talks
Unfortunately for Rodgers and Beckham (and perhaps the Jets, especially), the QB-WR tandem may not get a chance to work together any time soon. Based on Darlington’s reporting, there is a good possibility that Beckham lands with the Jets. It is also highly likely that the Packers will trade Rodgers to New York, though the latter could take significantly longer than the former.
For the first time, the Packers have leverage over the Jets and Rodgers in trade negotiations, and Green Bay made clear its intent to hold out for what it deems an appropriate return package. It sounds like the Packers want the Jets’ No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft and then some, and that New York believes that price is too steep.
The Jets own the No. 43 overall pick in the second round, which could ultimately be the centerpiece of the deal alongside Rodgers. However, New York also acquired the No. 42 overall pick from the Cleveland Browns in a recent trade for wide receiver Elijah Moore. It is not clear if the move was made to help strike a compromise with the Packers by throwing in an extra second-round pick, but that is now a very real possibility as the trade stalemate crawls forward.