Seahawks Should Claim Odell Beckham Jr.

(David Richard/AP Photo)

Even though it’s the bye week for the Seattle Seahawks there’s a buzz in the fan base. Russell Wilson is hyping up his return on social media. The pins are out of his hands, and he is gripping a football. Not only is Russell on the horizon but Pete Carroll stated in a press conference this week Chris Carson “wants to go for it next week.” With the Seahawks offense getting closer to full strength, there’s a player in the news that could make their offense that much stronger.

Waiver System

Before we get into it the story here is a quick explainer of the NFL waiver system. If a veteran of four years or more is cut after the trade deadline he must go through waivers. If a team claims him, they take his contract and the team that cuts him is free of the salary (minus bonus money). If no one claims the player, the team must pay the year’s salary, and the player is a free agent free to sign wherever.

The waiver order is based on records after week three (before week three is based on draft order). The worst teams get the first shot to help them be better. The Seahawks at 3-5 are set at ninth in line. Here is the list until the Seahawks could claim someone.

1. Detroit Lions

2. Miami Dolphins

3. Houston Texans

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

5. New York Jets

6. New York Giants

7. Washington Football Team

8. Philadelphia Eagles

9. Seattle Seahawks

Odell Beckham Jr. Waived From The Browns

The drama seems to have boiled over in Cleveland this week. After Odell Beckham Jr.’s father took to social media to bash his son’s quarterback the Browns have told Odell to stay home. Being excused for practices in the week lead to Friday’s release of the former star wide receiver. Odell suffered an ACL tear in week seven of last year’s season. Odell has 17 receptions on 34 targets with 232 yards this year in six games played.

With no one trading for Odell this past week before the deadline the Browns and OBJ restructured the wide-outs contract. The team is waiving his final two years making him a free agent after the 2021 season. Making him a rental player for the remainder of the season at $7.25M for the team that claims him. If no one claims Odell he will be a free agent and can sign anywhere.

What is the Risks Claiming OBJ?

With over $12M in cap space this year, Seattle is one of a few teams that can get OBJ without making any cap moves. Per Adam Schefter nine teams (Jaguars, Eagles, Broncos, Seahawks, Panthers, Chargers, Steelers, Washington, Bengals) can claim him. Making him attractive to those pushing for the Super Bowl. Keep in mind the cap can easily worked around. A restructure here or turning salary into bonus can make teams find cap to fit Odell Beckham Jr. under.

One risk is the $7.25M that it cost to roster him for half a year gets used up. At this point in the season it is assumed the cap is set. Seahawks for example could roll this $12M into the 2022 season and save it for next year. A savvy move for a 3-5 team is to maybe look to save the money for moves the next season.

The risk is the chance Beckham Jr, can harm team chemistry. He has a history of being a distraction and a diva. People fairly or unfairly call him a locker room cancer. Some people online already speculate that OBJ and D.K. would clash and be too much. Adding a big personality always gets people speculating if it could work. The easy answer is winning solves all.

Wilson Wants This

Russell Wilson has demanded star players for years. Especially when it comes to a third receiver, he pushed for the highly controversial Antonio Brown. Risking his reputation to vouch for a sexual assaulter. Brown was investigated and suspended before teams pushed to sign him last season. Seahawks tried with Percy Harvin, Josh Gordan and a past his prime Greg Olsen and never found that third receiver option since Jimmy Graham with Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse.

This is the perfect time to appease a disgruntled franchise QB. Wilson wanted better protection and the front office went out and got Gabe Jackson. Wilson has worked out with Odell and has a relationship with the star. There would be instant chemistry and a three-wide receiver set that would challenge the Bucs. D.K. Metcalf and Odell Beckham Jr. with Lockett in the slot is a nightmare to plan for. That would be three-receiver that have reached 1,000 yards in the last two seasons for 2021. Odell’s last full year in 2019 he had 74 catches and 1,035 yards with four touchdowns on a run heavy team. Tyler Lockett is Wilson’s big play player, Lockett had in 2020 100 catches for 1,054 yards and 10 TDs.

OBJ makes a lot with limited catches and makes big plays. Perfect fit ain’t it? Odell’s numbers actually compare to D.K Metcalf’s in 2020 at 83 catches for 1,303 and 10 TDs. Less catches more yards. Having two of those guys on the outside is cornerback nightmare. OBJ numbers should of been higher if he had better QB play. in 2019 he had 133 targets of those 74 catches. Pair that up with Wilson and receivers will be open in no time.

Why It Should Happen

Ultimately the teams that would take a shot are teams that have super bowl aspirations. The Jaguars may not want to pair a rookie franchise QB with a frustrated wide receiver. But a team like New Orleans that is 5-2 and no wideouts may want to take the chance to help their playoff push. Green Bay who has an aging star QB that has been desperate for a number two target would love the chance.

The Seahawks before the season were supposed to make the playoffs. They still have a shot for the playoff with the new seventh seed. At 3-5, they have the traits of teams that should claim OBJ. A quarterback that is locked in and leads the team. And a team that needs to make a push for a playoff run. Seahawks aren’t rebuilding so they should try all that they can to salvage the season and maybe add a wrinkle that makes them a dangerous threat.

Final Thoughts

No matter what happens it says a lot about the Seahawks. If they claim Beckham Jr., they are serious about this year and working to make Russell Wilson happy. If they don’t, they are sticking to their system. No sense of urgency may drive Russell out. If the team isn’t showing the quarterback how they can improve he may just say it is best to leave.

The $7.25M means nothing next year if Russell Wilson wants out. The risk of giving up something for a rental that could be used for something for the future makes people hesitant. However no one is asking the question, according to Over the Cap, the Seahawks have the fourth most cap space. Why? They don’t make big splashy plays in free agency. They prefer spending on a few small role players with upside. The biggest cost signing Seahawks have had since drafting Wilson was Greg Olsen at $7M. I’d prefer half a season of OBJ for the cost of Greg Olsen’s Seahawks season.

The reason this could be attractive to Seattle is no long-term investment. It is just some cap for the year. There is no draft picks to give up. It’s a simple way to show support for the roster. If the Seahawks are Super Bowl or bust, $7.25M isn’t a reason to pass on a difference maker. If the Seahawks are rebuilding, the $7.25M won’t be used for anything meaningful next year. No matter how you look at it. Seattle has the money, need for a third WR, and the quarterback to make Odell Beckham Jr. a fit. If Seahawks are serious contender they put in a claim and buy into bolstering their push for the playoffs.

The Browns will officially waive Odell Beckham Jr. Monday with him becoming eligible to be claimed Tuesday at 4 p.m. EST.