Odell Beckham Jr cleared waivers today, meaning he’s a free agent and able to select his next destination.
Only nine teams had the cap room to accommodate his $7m salary so once he reached a certain point on the waiver list, this wasn’t a surprise.
Beckham had already made it clear he wanted to play for a team with at least some chance of contending. This would appear to rule out Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Carolina and Washington. You could probably include Denver.
So the list of likely candidates wasn’t huge.
Seattle had the cap space and can at least make some attempt to claim they’re ‘still in the playoff mix’ with Russell Wilson returning.
Twitter is now debating whether the decision not to claim him is tied to the reality of Seattle’s cap situation, which we debated recently. By adjusting Duane Brown’s and Quandre Diggs’ contracts — they pushed money into 2022.
However, you could easily argue both players should be priority keeps for 2022. There’s nobody on the roster able to replace them. The Seahawks don’t need to create any more holes.
Diggs feels like the only player capable of forcing a turnover in the secondary. He is responsible for all three of their interceptions. Literally nobody else has a pick in the eight games played.
Brown’s performance this year might be a regression of sorts but his 70.3 PFF grade hardly signals his play as problematic.
Plus, it’s not like competent left tackles grow on trees.
Re-signing both and working the pushed-forward money into the equation just feels like common sense. Of course, it might’ve been better to tie both players down rather than prioritising the mammoth Jamal Adams contract which now looks like a dead weight hanging over the franchise.
Furthermore, you can always be creative with your cap. The $9m voided for Brown and Diggs is small money in the grand scheme of things. Tampa Bay just kept the band together after winning a Super Bowl despite forking out some big contracts. They also have other players needing to be rewarded soon. Look at the Rams too.
If you want to do something badly enough — you can.
So now NFL fans sit and wait to see what Beckham’s next move is.
This is purely speculative on my behalf but I wonder if a report earlier today that Beckham’s preferred destination was Green Bay was a nudge to the Seahawks to put a claim in.
If Beckham knew nobody was willing to commit to the $7m — he might get less to play in 2021. I suspect that’s very likely, unless he signs a multi-year contract.
What better way to try and smoke out a suitor than hint that you might be lining up against them on Sunday?
After all, it had been reported elsewhere that Beckham wanted Seattle and Wilson was pitching for it to happen.
Of course it’s also plausible he simply wants to play with a legendary quarterback in Green Bay with a legit chance of reaching the Super Bowl.
We’ll see what happens next. I think it’s stating the obvious, however, to suggest the Seahawks stand a better chance of clawing their way into the post-season by leaning on their franchise quarterback and loading him with weapons, rather than hoping for a Carroll-ball special of Alex Collins/Rashaad Penny running and the defense keeping you in games.
They play the Packers and Cardinals next. I’ll go out on a limb and say you’ll need points in those two games. There’s a very real threat Seattle could be 3-7 in a fortnight, making the upcoming ‘easier’ portion of the schedule a moot point.
‘How do we cover Metcalf, Lockett and Beckham?’ feels like a difficult question for opponents to answer. ‘How do we score against this defense?’ or ‘how do we stop Rashaad Penny’ feels like a lesser challenge.
It’ll be fascinating to see what they do. Beckham didn’t guarantee wins and he alone certainly wasn’t the difference between success and failure.
His addition, however, could mean something to the quarterback. It could mean they’re listening to him in the way Tampa Bay listened to Tom Brady a year ago. That, in essence, seems to be all that Wilson wants.
Two weeks ago Carroll admitted he probably wouldn’t have survived in Seattle as long as he has without Wilson. And he’s right. Seattle’s run of winning seasons is directly tied to Wilson’s arrival. Let’s hope he hasn’t forgotten that after a win against hopeless Jacksonville (and yes — they’re still hopeless irrespective of an admittedly impressive win against an out-of-sorts Buffalo team).
Let me repeat some salient points. This isn’t a good looking 2022 draft class at the top-end. The quarterback options are incredibly concerning. Carroll and Schneider’s key additions at quarterback pre-Wilson were Charlie Whitehurst, Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn. They made bad decisions with their top picks in recent years. We’ve just seen what watching the Seahawks without Wilson is like and it was extremely boring and frustrating.
Not adding Beckham, persisting with Carroll’s philosophy and failing to make the playoffs will lead to divorce in the off-season.
To the people hoping for that — be careful what you wish for.
Please consider supporting the blog via Patreon (click the tab below)…