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What would Odell Beckham Jr. have signed for, if not for Super Bowl ACL tear?

OBJ was in line for another big payday and then he tore his ACL at the worst time

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene/Cincinnati Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Odell Beckham Jr. is barely more than 14 months older than Allen Robinson, himself a receiver with an injury history, but OBJ has yet to sign a contract with an NFL team. The Los Angeles Rams, hedging their bets that OBJ won’t be able to contribute at a high level for the team next season, and knowing that Robert Woods would soon be traded, signed Robinson to a three-year, $46.5 million contract in March.

What would Beckham Jr. have been able to sign for if not for tearing his ACL during the Rams’ Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals? Would he have gotten more than Robinson? Would the Rams have kept him instead of signing Robinson? Will OBJ return to the Cleveland Browns, now that they’ve traded for Deshaun Watson?

To answer the last question, former Rams safety John Johnson III flat out said that OBJ would come back to the Browns.

But one reality that OBJ must live with is that his injury pushed back any chance to sign a three-year contract. Now it seems that OBJ’s best bet is to repeat what he did in 2021: Catch on with a team midseason, play well, prove himself again, and then this time he must stay healthy and avoid a major injury that requires surgery.

L.A.’s deal for Robinson was the second-largest in the NFL for any receiver this year by practically any measure. Only Christian Kirk got more, with the Jaguars basically guaranteeing that Kirk will make no less than $39 million over the next two seasons.

Where would the 29-year-old OBJ have landed in the 2022 free agent landscape? Age didn’t hold back Davante Adams, who signed a $140 million contract with the Raiders and is only one month younger than OBJ. But Adams has been rated as the NFL’s top receiver by many people over the last three years, and he posted a career-high 1,553 yards in 2021.

OBJ helped the Rams win the NFC Championship and proved to be a perfect complement to a true star in Cooper Kupp. Would he have rated higher than Kirk? Would he have rated higher than Robinson? Would he have slotted in as WR3 on the free agent market, signing for more than Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Russell Gage?

OBJ is one of many remaining receivers on the market, which now includes Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry, Will Fuller, Cole Beasley, T.Y. Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, Sammy Watkins, and A.J. Green.

Would OBJ be in the same place he is right now, if not for the ACL tear?

We don’t know for sure. But OBJ might yet return to the Rams. Let us know in the comments if that’s what the Rams should do.