How close were the Patriots to landing Odell Beckham Jr.? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
As our Tom E. Curran reported, the Patriots definitely were intrigued by the free-agent wide receiver after the Cleveland Browns released him Monday. Beckham’s decision reportedly came down to the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers, though, and he chose L.A. on Thursday.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer noted Sunday on Patriots Pregame Live that New England’s interest in Beckham was “very real,” but that there were a few teams ahead of them on Beckham’s wish list.
“The interest was very real,” Breer said, as seen in the video player above. ” … Ultimately though, I don’t think they were very close to getting him. … The Packers were probably closest behind the Rams to getting him, and I also think, my understanding at least, is that the Chiefs and the Seahawks were ahead of the Patriots in the pecking order as well.”
So, what intrigued Beckham about the Rams ahead of a team like the Patriots? ESPN’s Mike Reiss provided some insight New England’s pursuit of Beckham on Sunday morning:
“My sense of the Patriots’ involvement in the pursuit of receiver Odell Beckham Jr. … is that they made their pitch — which was limited financially due to their salary-cap standing — and ultimately Beckham chose to go to the Los Angeles Rams because of a more proven quarterback (Matthew Stafford) and an offense that can put points on the board in a hurry.”
Beckham’s reported reasoning checks out: While Mac Jones has enjoyed a solid rookie season in New England, Stafford entered Week 10 as the NFL’s passing yards leader for a Rams offense scoring 29.0 points per game, fifth-best in the NFL.
Josh McDaniels’ Patriots offense is more run-heavy than Sean McVay’s high-flying attack, so if Beckham wanted to put up big numbers, New England probably wasn’t the most ideal fit.
Beckham would have given New England an elite talent they don’t have in its wide receiver room, but the Patriots have won three in a row while establishing a run-first offensive identity. So, you could make the case that Bill Belichick and Co. may be better off with Beckham heading to Hollywood.