If you find yourself mixed on the idea of the K.C. Chiefs adding Odell Beckham Jr., you’re not alone. Shortly after the news broke on Friday that the talented wide receiver was going to hit the waiver wire after negotiating his release from the Cleveland Browns, every fan of every team in the NFL was likely thinking about the potential addition. For the Chiefs, in particular, there are reasons to like the potential addition, as well as reasons to want to avoid OBJ entirely.
The Browns and Beckham have been at odds now for quite some time, but the situation reached its zenith this week with Beckham sitting out practice despite still wanting to play on Sundays. Beckham’s own father openly criticized the team and quarterback Baker Mayfield recently which has stirred up much of the present derision, but the wide receiver hasn’t exactly ingratiated himself to the team’s fan base since arriving via trade from the New York Giants.
The Browns were working on a financial negotiation with Beckham’s reps to be able to release him. Ian Rapoport noted that Beckham has wanted out but the Browns could not find a trade partner. Now the finances involved are expected to land at $1 million for any team claiming him on waivers.
There are definite pros and cons to the idea of the Kansas City Chiefs putting in a claim on Odell Beckham Jr.
At this point in the season, the Chiefs 4-4 record have them at No. 18 overall in waiver order (e.g. that’s also their position at present in any future NFL Draft order). That means that 17 other teams will get the first crack at adding Beckham Jr. for that cost, just above the veteran minimum salary.
On paper, it sounds like a no-brainer move. Beckham Jr is undoubtedly one of the better wide receivers in the NFL when he’s healthy and interested. But it’s those two caveats that complicate the picture entirely. Beckham Jr. is the sort of mercurial personality who can turn a team against one another and become the sort of off-the-field distraction that healthy franchises want to ignore.
Think of how Kansas City has already felt like the wheels were coming off at times so far this year with the losses to go with Britt Reid’s DUI, Frank Clark‘s arrests, Jackson Mahomes on Tik Tok, and more. The Chiefs moved Marcus Peters for this same sort of demeanor and it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs would want to openly invite a player who talked himself off the roster of his last team
That said, what if the Chiefs could be the sort of optimal place in which Beckham could thrive. If Josh Gordon isn’t going to turn into the answer as a go-to receiver not named Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill, maybe OBJ could be the person? Isn’t that worth a flier?
Even more, the total cost of bringing him is $1 million. That means if it doesn’t work, it’s a financial shrug of the shoulders and nothing more. There wasn’t a draft pick traded. There’s not a ton of dead cap space on the books. It’s a cool million for the Chiefs to have an exclusive opportunity to piece Beckham Jr. into the lineup. That sounds like an obvious win.
But again, it’s not so simple which is why the talking points here weave back and forth. He can be a distraction, but then again, how is that his fault if his dad speaks out? How much is a single player responsible for? And what level of talent makes it worth the risk? The present odds, courtesy of WynnBET, are set at +1000 for the Chiefs to be his next landing spot, making him a long shot there with the Saints and Packers as the primary two franchises in play.
None of these questions offer easy answers and that’s exactly why this debate isn’t easy. Every team should want to sign a wide receiver like Odell Beckham Jr. but every team should want to avoid a personality like Odell Beckham Jr. The Chiefs might have a tough choice to make if he remains available on waivers or in free agency if unclaimed.