What To Make Of The Odell Beckham Jr To Cincinnati Speculation?

June 16, 2022

Odell Beckham Jr to Cincinnati? Seems farfetched, right? Well only during the off-season, and during the age of social media, could something so innocuous get so much attention. But after a couple of days of speculation from sports pundits and fans alike, here we are.

Joe Burrow made this Instagram post a few days ago. The caption read,

“My spidey sense is starting to tingle a bit”

OBJ responded with “The one.”

Instagram

If you’re a normal person, or maybe I’m just too obtuse to catch the references and want to think everyone is at my level, this doesn’t seem like much. This looks like a Quarterback making a normal post and an NFL Wide Reciever giving him props. Not to mention they are both LSU alumni and if you remember during LSU’s National Championship, Odell Beckham Jr was in the postgame celebration alongside Burrow, Jefferson, Chase, and others.

Multiple sources have speculated this could be OBJ reaching out in hopes of joining another former LSU standout, Joe Burrow, and the Cincinnati Bengals. The phrase where there’s smoke, there’s fire comes to mind, but I’m not sure I see any smoke. So rather than interpreting what this relatively short interaction actually means, I’m going to go over why OBJ might/won’t join the Bengals.

Why OBJ Might Join The Bengals

The Bengals lack of depth behind their big three trio of Chase, Higgins, and Boyd. OBJ would be a really enticing fourth option. Cincinnati doesn’t really have a “next man up”. Fans are always excited for a new flashy piece and Odell fits that mold.

Odell’s injury concerns mean he will only be available into the latter portion of the season and the playoffs. The only teams that would be interested in signing him would be teams that could make a late-season push for contention.

Lastly, the LSU connection can’t be underestimated. In this day and age of free agency, connections mean a lot. A player wanting to come to your organization is the best way to get a thrifty cap-friendly deal. The Bayou Bengals could make Cincinnati a sought-out destination for OBJ.

Why OBJ Probably Won’t Join The Bengals

Injured players are always a risk. A player’s availability dates can change. There is the possibility that OBJ won’t be ready this season. Signing a player whose hurt doesn’t always work out, and the Bengals probably wouldn’t be interested in making a risky signing.

Additionally, Odell Beckham Jr will probably not be a cheap signing. Although he’d be a really good WR4, he may not want to be that far down the depth chart or be more expensive than would be deemed important. There are many other quality depth receivers the Bengals could sign that wouldn’t break the bank. Cincinnati is still going through contract issues with players like Bates and retaining the talent they have is probably a higher priority than acquiring new talent.

What’s This All Mean?

Most likely? This is a slow news week. Fans and the media will latch on to any story when hungry for football, and a name like OBJ will always turn heads. I guess I took the bait for writing this article.

At the end of the day, if money isn’t an issue, and he’d be happy with his limited role in the offense, OBJ would look good in stripes. An empty set featuring Chase, Higgins, Boyd, and OBJ would be terrifying. However, the Bengal way has been to build through the draft and free agents that over-perform to what they’ve been paid. Odell Beckham Jr would most likely be a far more expensive option than the Bengals would want to spend on the position.

I wouldn’t hate seeing him in Cincinnati, but until there is evidence more solid than a random Instagram comment, I’m not banking on the Bengals moving to sign Beckham Jr.