Colts being ‘dark horse’ destination for Odell Beckham Jr. could be twist 2021 needs
Following an unimpressive stint in Cleveland, Odell Beckham Jr. was released by the Browns late last week. On Tuesday, the former star wide receiver cleared waivers.
That means he’s free to sign with any NFL team. Yup, that means even the Indianapolis Colts have a shot. But we can’t say this is a Chris Ballard-esque move to make.
The Colts’ general manager is hardly flashy in that regard and we’re really not sure he’d risk disrupting whatever offensive chemistry this team has developed ever since Carson Wentz took over as starting quarterback in the name of a temporary upgrade that may not even pay off in 2021.
Then again, after all that’s gone wrong for Indy, how much worse can it really get? The headlines have already been as unsavory as they’re going to get. OBJ potentially disrupting the balance of power might not even crack the top-three negative storylines for the Colts this season.
What if the Colts landed Odell Beckham Jr.?
And talk about a guy who’s dealt with an untenable situation … Carson Wentz, come on down! The veteran was immersed in one of the most toxic situations in recent memory during his last couple years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Trying to rein in Beckham really doesn’t seem like it’d be the biggest of challenges for him.
Really, what we’re wondering is … what do the Colts have to lose? Their only threatening option through the air is Michael Pittman Jr. They’re 4-5 and have almost no chance of winning the division. The only way this season could be even more disappointing is if they they go 1-2 or 0-3 in their remaining three games against the Jaguars (twice) and Texans.
When you look at Beckham’s situation, too, things can only get better for him. The Browns’ leading receiver is backup tight end David Njoku, who has 341 yards on the year. Cleveland didn’t have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2020. And this is with Baker Mayfield under center, a stacked offensive line, a stout running game, and Jarvis Landry also in the receiving corps.
The Colts’ offense has very clearly taken a leap this year with Wentz as the first true playmaking quarterback running the show since Andrew Luck. Pittman already has 658 receiving yards and is headed for a breakout campaign. Jonathan Taylor is arguably the best active running back in the league at the moment. The offensive line is starting to come together after injuries decimated the unit to start the year.
Add Beckham into the mix and you open up the run game by keeping defenses honest, take double teams off Pittman, and perhaps open up the field a bit more for Zach Pascal. That makes life easier for Wentz, too, who’s been tasked with a lot when you look at how many times he’s dropped back to pass (300, 11th among QBs) despite having one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL behind him.
But if we’re being honest, this match is unlikely, given the expected lack of interest from both parties. Then again, each side should consider that maybe going against the grain could help them turn their season around after experiencing countless unforeseen instances through nine weeks.