When Robert Woods went down with a season-ending knee injury before Week 10 of last season, it seemed like the LA Rams’ chances to reach the Super Bowl took a huge hit. However, the Rams had just picked up Odell Beckham Jr. to add to their WR corps that same week.
I remember thinking at the time that this must be destiny. As much as I love Woods, who is the ultimate team player, OBJ is just different. He’s a special athlete that was considered to be one of the top three WRs in the league soon after he joined the league.
OBJ played a crucial role for the Rams in the playoffs and was on his way to becoming the Super Bowl MVP if he hadn’t suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of that game. Given everything I’ve just said, you would think that I would absolutely want him to return to LA next year but not so fast.
Here are the 3 reasons why I do and don’t want OBJ back on the Rams squad:
Reasons I Do Want OBJ Back
He was only getting started
Since he signed with the Rams about midway through the year, it took some time for him to get up-to-speed with the playbook and develop some chemistry with Matthew Stafford. I don’t think we even saw his full potential until the Super Bowl, but even that was cut short. I would love to see him play with LA again next year and unlock his full potential in this Rams offense.
It would give the Rams the best WR unit in the NFL
Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson and Odell Beckham Jr. That sounds like a fantasy team. Reigning offensive MVP in Kupp was an absolute beast last year leading the NFL in the three major receiver categories. Robinson has put up some solid numbers his whole career with some terrible QBs and will be playing with Stafford, who loves receivers that can win contested catches (one of Robinson’s strengths).
It would be incredibly fun to watch a unit with Kupp, OBJ, and Allen Robinson.
He brings an X-Factor to the team
Ever since his rookie year, you could tell that OBJ was special. He can catch a 5-yard slant and take it to the house. He can win jump-balls in the red-zone. He’s an elite route-runner. He has hands of glue. He’s an explosive athlete that can do pretty much anything you need from a receiver.
Reason I Don’t Want OBJ Back
Still need an edge rusher
In the perfect world the Rams could keep OBJ but there is something called the salary cap that we have to abide by (I think?). While it would be a lot of fun to add OBJ to the WR corps, I think that money would be better spent on signing an edge-rusher opposite Leonard Floyd at some point. It may not happen in the offseason, but Les Snead has a penchant for making some splashes midseason when he determines that there is a player out there who can upgrade the team, as evidenced by Beckham’s signing mid-season last year.
Two knee injuries to the same knee
There is no guarantee that OBJ will be 100% when he does eventually get back on the field. Most reports expect him to be back on the field sometime mid-season, but nobody knows when exactly. Also when he does get back on the field, who knows how his knee will reach as he’s had two season-ending knee injuries to that same knee.
It could hinder the development of LA’s younger WRs
Van Jefferson took a nice step for the Rams last season, going from 19 catches for 220 yards and 1 TD in 2020 to 50 catches for 802 yards and 6 TDs in 2021. That’s a big jump and I would expect his numbers to be even better in 2022 if given the chance.
Tutu Atwell had a forgettable rookie year but there is still time for him to improve and show that he can produce. If OBJ comes back to the team, that will relegate those players to the WR4 spot at best. That means less reps in practice with Matthew Stafford and less live game reps which may only hurt their development.
Don’t get me wrong, if I had to choose if the LA Rams could have OBJ back or not I would say yes. But it’s not a slam-dunk yes because of the 3 reasons I mentioned above.
Do you want OBJ back? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!