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To Beckham or Not to Beckham for the Chiefs?


By Nick Athan

In the wake of this morning’s trade that saw the Dallas Cowboys acquire veteran Wide Receiver, Brandin Cooks from the Houston Texans, the market for a top-shelf receiver continues to dwindle. For the Kansas City Chiefs, they’ve been linked to Odell Beckham, Jr. At issue with his signing, remains the quandary over money.

Last week Odell Beckham, Jr., arguably the best free agent wide receiver on the market, made a comment that a mystery team made him a lowball, one-year deal with a base of $4 million for the 2023 season.  Clearly, that wasn’t satisfactory to him.  However, in a single off-season, the wide receiver market has now become the new running back market. Personally, I think that offer came from the Buffalo Bills and not the Chiefs.

The double edge sword for OBJ a year ago he could have cashed in on the big money given to receivers, Tyreek Hill, Devante Adams, and A.J. Brown. However, with quarterback contracts soaring, OBJ falls into the bad luck position category. Now, to be fair, had he been healthy last season, he would have gotten his coin.

But that was then, and this is now.

For the Chiefs, they could use another veteran wide receiver. OBJ would be the kind of offensive weapon that would excel in KC’s offense. When JuJu Smith-Schuster, signed a 3-year, $33 million dollar offer he received from the New England Patriots, the need to find another veteran became a priority.

Sources confirmed had General Manager, Brett Veach was unwilling to match the Patriots offer, but if he did, JuJu would be a Chief today. That tells me that Veach values the price for wide receivers, even those as talented as OBJ, roughly the same as the rest of the league.

To date, the Chiefs have shown interest in free-agent wide receivers, Adam Thielen and DJ Chark, Jr. Reportedly Thielen visited KC last week and left without an offer. The Carolina Panthers also worked him out and felt the same as the Chiefs. Late Sunday Night, Thielen indicated he’d agreed to a three-year deal with the Panthers, so that might take them out of the Chark discussions.

Chark also met with the Panthers on Friday, and there was talk he could meet with the Chiefs this weekend. At this hour, there is no update on him.  Though I think Chark could put up some of the numbers JuJu did a year ago in Kansas City, we need to be honest, OBJ can do things he can’t.

Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – SEPTEMBER 11: DJ Chark #4 of the Detroit Lions catches a fourth-quarter touchdown next to Darius Slay #2 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field on September 11, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

And that becomes the real story in the KC’s pursuit of OBJ.

Do they need to alter their offense from a year ago to secure an over-the-top receiver?  If yes, not many have done it as well as OBJ.

As of now, OBJ remains unsigned. He had a workout earlier this month where the Chiefs and eight other teams were in attendance. One notable team absentee was the Dallas Cowboys. They passed on pursuing him, probably because they were not satisfied with the medicals from his December visit, and instead sent two draft picks to the Houston Texans for ten-year veteran, Brandin Cooks. To me, that’s pretty telling.

This trade though could also alter the Chiefs thinking to make another run at Arizona Cardinals, Wide Receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. However, the Cardinals have been insistent they won’t accept anything less than a 2nd round pick for their top receiver. I don’t see Veach making that deal now that the Cooks deal is done. To me, they are basically the same player, with the same contract. That means the same compensation.

OBJ must decide what he really wants because from all accounts the two teams showing the most interest are the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. There are reports the Baltimore Ravens are in the mix, but I can’t think of a single reason OBJ would play for a team with a run-first-pass-second quarterback that is in a contract dispute. That aside, if those are truly his options, why hasn’t he already signed to play with two-time Super Bowl MVP Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes?


One thing I am certain about is this if Beckham becomes a Chief, he won’t be a distraction off the field, or in the locker room. I think because he’s had a pair of unhappy endings with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, it has skewed the perception that he’s a bad teammate. I’ve been told that is far from the truth.

For the Chiefs, they could pass on OBJ, Chark, and Thielen to roll the dice in the NFL Draft. There are a few interesting receivers that could slide down to the end of the first round, but the Chiefs also have other needs at tackle, and edge rusher.

So, what will Veach do?

My guess is that he’ll continue to explore all options at the wide receiver position, and if the numbers work and OBJ is not going to shop the Chiefs offer elsewhere, I’d say he’ll play for Kansas City in 2023.  If not, he’ll keep searching for the coin he wants.


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