Odell Beckham Jr. contract is an optics nightmare for Ravens

Odell Beckham Jr., Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Odell Beckham Jr., Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Although the Baltimore Ravens were willing to pay a premium for Odell Beckham Jr., they have not been willing to do the same for Lamar Jackson.

While adding Odell Beckham Jr. to the receiving corps is a savvy move made by the Baltimore Ravens‘ brass, the financials of it are not a good look for the franchise, especially when it comes to Lamar Jackson.

Beckham was slated to fly into New York over the weekend to meet with the New York Jets on Monday. Even though he was already offered a contract by Baltimore, he wanted to hear the Jets’ pitch first, particularly on their plans to acquire Aaron Rodgers in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. Once the Ravens upped their offer, Beckham decided he was a Baltimore man right then.

According to Tom Pelissero of The NFL Network, Beckham has agreed to a one-year deal worth $15 million with incentives that could take it up to $18 million. Of the initial $15 million, the bulk of it comes in the form of a $13.835 million signing bonus. He is only making $1.165 million in base salary for this year. What a contract drawn up by his agent in Zeke Sandhu! Jackson would never…

Even if Jackson is slated to make more on the non-exclusive franchise tag, optically this is a bad look for the Ravens. I understand why they did what they did, but the Ravens’ brass hasn’t made a lot of friends this offseason. As long as they can repair their relationship with Jackson, then this will all be a moot point. However, this contract drama has been as long as it has been agonizing.

Let’s discuss what Beckham signing with the Ravens means for Jackson and the rest of the AFC.

Baltimore Ravens paid Odell Beckham Jr. before even they paid Lamar Jackson

I think that right is the biggest issue of them all. Baltimore prioritized getting Beckham to put pen to paper over extending Jackson. Surely, Beckham got assurances that Jackson will be back in Baltimore next season. After all, he only just agreed to a one-year deal with the Ravens. However, you cannot overlook Baltimore paying a premium to get Beckham, while being frugal over Jackson.

At this stage of his career, Beckham has every right to pick where he wants to go. He has his money, he has his Pro Bowls and he has his Super Bowl ring. However, he needs about two-to-three more good years to ensure himself of Canton enshrinement. He may get there eventually, but we have seen the wide receivers position group be a log jam of sorts for other talented guys.

I think the fact that Beckham picked the Ravens over a team like the Jets is telling. Baltimore still has Jackson’s rights, whereas the Jets still need to trade for Rodgers. Truthfully, signing Beckham may incentivize Jackson to come back to Baltimore with his tail between his legs and just play ball. After all, the Ravens just hired an ace as their offensive coordinator in Todd Monken from Georgia.

There are up to 18 million reasons why Beckham signed with Baltimore, but what about Jackson?

dark. Next. Biggest what-if in each NFL team’s history