The son of former Starbucks CEO and Seattle Sonics owner Howard Schultz, Jordan Schultz, tweeted out today that the Packers are wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s “no. 1 destination” should he clear waivers. The Cleveland Browns waived the receiver after his father posted a film breakdown on the day of the trade deadline, leading to the team and OBJ to restructure his contract in a way that will save the Browns at least $3 million before he was subject to waivers.
Currently, only nine teams have the cap space to pick Beckham off of waivers, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter: Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Carolina, the Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh, Washington and Cincinnati. Per another report from Schefter, Beckham is prepared to create “potential issues” for a team that claims him, if the team is not in playoff contention. According to FiveThirtyEight, the only team with over a 50 percent chance to make the playoffs that also has the money to add Beckham via waivers is the Chargers. For reference, the Packers are 1 of 13 teams who have over a 50 percent chance to make the playoffs at this point in time.
Beckham will officially be picked up off of waivers or clear waivers at 4 PM Eastern, roughly an hour after Schultz’s report and the time of this post.
Beckham will obviously not play special teams, which shouldn’t threaten the roster spot of receiver Malik Taylor, the Packers’ designated special teams ace who has played over half of the team’s overall special teams snaps, by far the most of any receiver on the roster. It should also be noted that Equanimeous St. Brown, who has played more special teams snaps than third-round rookie Amari Rodgers, has played 2.5 times the offensive snaps of Rodgers at this point in the season, despite not being activated to the 53-man roster until the second month of the season.
Rodgers, who has struggled on punt returns this season, very well could be the odd man out in the wide receiver room, should Beckham sign with the Packers if he clears waivers. Head coach Matt LaFleur said in his Monday media availability that Rodgers showed resiliency by returning a punt for 15 yards after he mishandled two punt return situations against the Kansas City Chiefs, with one leading to an easy Chiefs field goal drive, but Aaron Rodgers, on his weekly appearance on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, said that “Obviously special teams was not special in the game.”
In his NFL career, Beckham has returned 42 punts for 291 yards, though, 21 of them came in his rookie season of 2014, for what that’s worth.