Ravens sign OBJ, signal confidence in Lamar Jackson return?

Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens Center #64 (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens Center #64 (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens signed free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Is this a signal that they are confident in Lamar Jackson’s return?  Finally, the Ravens make an investment into their WR room.

They signed the Pro Bowl Beckham to a one year deal that contains a whopping $15 million guaranteed but can be worth up to $18 million in incentives.  Immediate reaction tells me that this is a massive, massive overpay for a 30 year old wide receiver coming off yet another season-ending injury.

He tore his ACL in February 2022 during the Super Bowl, so he’s 14 months removed from that and is likely 100%.  However, his numerous serious injuries he has suffered later in his career have made Beckham a shell of what he used to be.

He’s being paid like a low-end WR1 in the NFL, and I’m not sure he’s close to that at this point.  Could the Ravens signing OBJ be a signal that Lamar Jackson plans on sticking in Baltimore?

I think this is one of two things:

  • This is indeed a play to keep Jackson
  • They’re just about to lock Jackson up for the long-term and are finally investing in his weapons

If Lamar Jackson is still on uneasy ground with the team, then this signing looks quite weird.  I’d also caution Jackson to not make a knee-jerk reaction and re-up with the Ravens just because of this move.  Beckham is under contract for one year and I don’t think it’s likely he’d re-sign with the club.

This isn’t some major WR acquisition.  I think Beckham is a middle of the pack WR2 at best and isn’t going to be someone who will greatly impact the offense.

Baltimore still needs a true WR1 in the 2023 NFL Draft and could have signed someone like DJ Chark who is a better player than Odell Beckham Jr.

Nonetheless, the organization is clearly making a clear investment into the pass catchers as they did sign Nelson Agholor this offseason and could easily take a wide receiver with their first round pick in 2023.