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Odell Beckham Jr’s Deal Shows What Steelers Would Have to Pay in FA

Odell Beckham Jr. did not get a hefty contract, and that might showcase to the Pittsburgh Steelers a range in free agency.

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Odell Beckham Jr.

The wide receiver selections in free agency are rather slim right now. Tyler Boyd, who the Pittsburgh Steelers had an interest in, still remains. But Odell Beckham Jr. is now off the market. Others, such as D.J. Chark and Michael Gallup, also signed new deals this past week.

The Steelers would have had to pay Beckham, but it turns out that his deal is not even that much money. He got a guaranteed $15 million a year ago, but this year? The base value of his deal is just $3 million, with lots of incentives that could raise his value to around $8 million.

What does that do? A deal with someone like Boyd or Michael Thomas, who remain two of the top options in free agency, would start around the range. So, if the Steelers want to go to the free agency route, it would make sense to start there. But in recent weeks, it’s become quite clear the team is looking to go to the trade market.

There are receivers who make sense that could be available on that market, like San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk sparked speculation on Tuesday when he sent a message to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on X, stating “@CoachTomlin they saying we twins. What you think?”

The Steelers are in dire need of a wide receiver, and Aiyuk certainly would be a fit. But the draft capital to acquire Aiyuk is expected to be astronomical. According to Jacksonville reporter Mia O’Brien, the 49ers wanted the Jaguars’ No. 17 overall pick and wide receiver Zay Jones in this past draft. Any team acquiring Aiyuk would also have to pay Aiyuk the $14.124 million that he’s owed by San Francisco in 2024, as well. Jacksonville thought that the trade package was unreasonable and scrapped the deal.

The Steelers are in a tough spot at wide receiver right now, and minus a blockbuster trade for a star wide receiver, their best bet is to address the position in free agency, but that market is dwindling.

Beckham caught 35 passes for 565 yards and three touchdowns last season in Baltimore. He averaged 16.1 yards per reception, so he’s still a threat downfield. Beckham is not the same player that he was a decade ago, so that price is not too shocking.

Another high-pedigree player, Beckham was a two-time All-Pro, three time Pro Bowler, and has a Super Bowl ring, earned with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022. He has settled into a role as a bit-part player and his previous notoriety for complaining about targets seems to have passed. He had 64 targets with the Ravens last season.

Byt Beckham has not been consistently healthy or productive since 2019. He played seven games for Cleveland in 2020, 14 in 2021 and 2023, and not at all in 2022 while recovering from ACL surgery.