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Would Odell Beckham Jr. Make Sense for the Steelers?

Could the Pittsburgh Steelers end up going out and targeting former All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr in free agency?

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Odell Beckham Jr.

The pickings at wide receiver in free agency are rather slim right now. Tyler Boyd, who the Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly have an interest in, and Odell Beckham Jr. are the best options left.

Beckham is the less talked about option, but as a flashy name, he will be talked about. Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus projects that Beckham would ask for a 1-year, $7 million contract from the Steelers or any other team that would try to land him in free agency.

Of course, there are other receivers who make sense, 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. The Jaguars would also have to pay Aiyuk his $14.124 million that he’s owed by San Francisco in 2024, as well. Jacksonville thought that 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 Aiyuk, their best bet is to address the position with two picks in the draft.

However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk thinks it would be wise for the Steelers to kick the tires on the 31-year-old Beckham in the second wave of free agency. Beckham visited the Miami Dolphins last month, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson.

“I think the Steelers are better off just playing it cheap, playing it safe, see what’s in the draft,” Florio said on 93.7 The Fan Wednesday. “I’m intrigued by [Odell Beckham Jr.]. He’s available. He’s not gonna get the $15 million he got last year, and he still had moments last year in Baltimore. Players always love him and he wasn’t whining about his playing time or his production last year. I think as free agency gets deeper and deeper into March and into April, some of these veteran guys are gonna be cheaper to get. Couple that with a draft pick or two, and I think you have what you need.”

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, but he still could be a solid No. 3 option for the Steelers. With OBJ, it’s really about how much he is willing to play for. Omar Khan’s for sure not going to overspend for a 31-year-old wide receiver with a lengthy injury history. And for that price, he would need to check the boxes on all accounts.

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. The Steelers also might not want to put another loud, brash personality next to Pickens.