What should Packers do about Odell Beckham Jr. becoming available?

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The Cleveland Browns are waiving receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and he is expected to go on waivers on Monday. The Green Bay Packers are way down the waiver priority list (28th out of 32 teams), but Beckham Jr. becoming available is certainly an interesting subplot for a team like the Packers, who are a legitimate Super Bowl contender and possibly willing to be ultra-aggressive in adding another weapon on offense.

It’s certainly a conversation worth having, especially if he somehow lasted to Green Bay’s spot in the waiver order or cleared waivers altogether. Beckham Jr., when healthy, is an elite playmaker and difference-maker. And the Packers, despite having Davante Adams and at least three other receivers trusted by Aaron Rodgers (Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb), shouldn’t overlook what adding another receiver could do down the stretch of an important season.

There are layers and layers to this decision. Is Beckham Jr. good enough to risk the potential effect in the locker room? Could he earn the trust of Rodgers fast enough to make a difference? Are there enough snaps for him? Do the Packers even want another receiver? Is this too much drama for the Packers to consider?

Answering no to just one of those questions takes the idea off the board in Green Bay. While getting a half-season of a fully-focused and fully-motivated Beckham would be a big plus for any team, his departure from Cleveland should make all teams wonder about the side effects in play here.

By all accounts, the Packers have a healthy, player-led locker room with strong leaders and voices up and down the roster. This can work two ways here: Either the Packers wouldn’t want a personality like Beckham Jr. screwing it up, or the team believes it has the structure and support in place to handle a player like Beckham Jr.

The guess here is that the Packers will pass, maybe without a second thought. And it’s possible the team won’t have any shot at all of acquiring him given the waiver order and Beckham’s cheap salary for the rest of 2021. There might be teams that don’t want him landing in Green Bay.

Then again, there are ways for a veteran like Beckham to pick his spot even on waivers. Teams call agents all the time to feel out a player’s mindset before making a waiver claim. What if his agent said he only wants to play in a place like Green Bay?

Beckham playing snaps opposite Adams with Valdes-Scantling, Lazard and Cobb handling specific roles could create a terrific mix of options in the passing game, especially as the Packers hit the stretch run and more and more teams try to find ways of taking Adams away.

It will be easy to draw the line from this to the Packers adding Andre Rison during the title run in 1996, but that move is an example of a talented personality in the right locker room environment thriving individually and helping a team get over the top and win a championship.

Could Beckham provide the same short-term impact 25 years later? This could be another all-in moment for the Packers.

Bottom line: Beckham’s availability is something the Packers fully explore, even if the chances of him landing in Green Bay are unlikely.

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