There’s a decent chance that the return of quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers this week could be overshadowed by another narrative: The Odell Beckham Jr. Bowl. On Thursday, ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweeted, “There are teams who are talking to Odell Beckham Jr. that believe the free-agent wide receiver will wait until the games are complete on Sunday before making his final decision, per league sources.” If you scratch beyond the surface, there is a pretty clear reason why.
Prior to Beckham clearing waivers, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the wideout wanted to play with a playoff contender and that if a non-contender picked him up off of waivers that “there could be potential issues for that team, according to a source, although it is unclear exactly what those issues would be.” Since clearing waivers, it seems as though that five playoff contenders, to varying degrees, have emerged in the Beckham sweepstakes: Seattle, Green Bay, New England, Kansas City and New Orleans.
There have been conflicting reports on what Beckham could potentially ask for financially, as Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer claims that Beckham can file for termination pay and “double-dip” on 2021 salary while NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Beckham agreed not to seek termination pay from the Cleveland Browns as part of his agreement to have the team waive him. If Breer is right and Beckham is able to “double-dip,” only one of the five teams Beckham has been rumored to have interest in actually has more 2021 cap space than the tie-hands of the Packers...their Week 10 opponent: the Seattle Seahawks.
Below are the five teams’ cap space numbers per Over The Cap:
- Seattle Seahawks: $13.2 million
- Green Bay Packers: $4.6 million
- New England Patriots: $4.4 million
- Kansas City Chiefs: $3.3 million
- New Orleans Saints: $0.9 million
Here’s the problem for Beckham if he wants to make the Seahawks’ money: They’re already 3-5 and are slated to play the two teams with the best records in the NFC over the next two weeks. Among the five teams, FiveThirtyEight gives the Seahawks the lowest playoff percentage of the group at just 30 percent. The Packers lead the pack with a 98 percent chance to make the playoffs, while the Saints, Chiefs and Patriots fall between 65 and 53 percent.
The Seahawks’ playoff percentage will drastically move with every single loss they accrue, though. For example, FiveThirtyEight projects their playoff percentage to drop to 21 percent should they lose on Sunday to the Packers. If they lose over the next two weeks to both the Packers and the Arizona Cardinals, they will be down to just an 11 percent chance to make the NFC’s seven-team playoff at a then record of 3-7.
If Breer is right that Beckham can double-dip, the Seahawks are really the only chance for the wideout to have his cake and eat it, too. The problem is that might not be the case after Sunday’s game, which is why he’s probably making the right decision to wait for Week 10’s results. If the Seahawks fall to 3-5, the Packers’ minimum contract offer might sound a lot more enticing to the former Pro Bowler.