KC attended Beckham’s private workout and might be in the race for his services in free agency.
The Kansas City Chiefs lost wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to the New England Patriots on Wednesday, serving as a reminder that the free agent market can weaken a team’s position room just as much as it can help it. With the available options continuing to dwindle down as time passes by, the pressure is on general manager Brett Veach and company to make a move to add depth at the receiver position.
According to Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS, the Chiefs were one of 12 teams in attendance at free agent wideout Odell Beckham Jr.’s private workout on March 10. Beckham held the workout to showcase his abilities in front of prospective teams as he looks to join a club for the first time since he played in Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams. Beckham tore his ACL during that game but now that he’s over a year removed from the injury, his market is beginning to heat back up.
Jordan Schultz of theScore reported back in December that Kansas City had “stayed in contact” with Beckham, although a formal visit and signing never manifested itself. After reporting on Wednesday — the first day of the new NFL league year — that the Dallas Cowboys had positive discussions with Beckham, Schultz added the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens to the list of teams “showing interest” in the 30-year-old on Thursday:
Per Schultz, Beckham is eyeing a multi-year contract. Spotrac estimates that he’s worth an average annual value of $13.5 million on the open market, with Pro Football Focus‘ projected AAV of $13M being in that same general area. Smith-Schuster’s deal with New England was worth $11M AAV, as were the multi-year commitments for Allen Lazard (New York Jets) and Jakobi Meyers (Las Vegas Raiders), so Beckham’s potential market might be just a tad bit richer as of now until any reported offers come in to indicate otherwise.
Beckham isn’t the dominant force he once was in his prime with the New York Giants, but he showed with the Rams that he could still impact winning football and be a dynamic force on the field. He hauled in 27 passes for 305 yards and five touchdowns in eight regular season contests with Los Angeles before emerging as a key contributor along their path to the Super Bowl. With that said, his ability to keep up that level of play post-ACL injury and post-turning 30 is worth questioning.
After Schultz published his December report, I wrote on Arrowhead Report that the Chiefs shouldn’t pursue Beckham for the remainder of the regular season or into the playoffs. Given where he was at in his rehab, as well as where Kansas City’s wideout room was in its development, a signing just didn’t make much sense:
Reports throughout Beckham’s rehab and free agency tour have indicated that he’d like a multi-year deal. If that remains the case during the offseason, it makes much more sense for the Chiefs to see how things play out with the likes of Smith-Schuster and Hardman (and possibly even Valdes-Scantling), then potentially get in on the Beckham sweepstakes. The timing just doesn’t seem to be ideal right now, nor does the opportunity. As a result, Kansas City is best suited simply relying on the guys it has and revisiting the Beckham situation a few months from now.
It was always a possibility that this offseason could change things, and that very well may be the case. It remains to be seen what the Chiefs’ level of interest in Beckham is or whether they have other desired options on the table, but this is something to monitor in the coming days (or potentially weeks). Talented receivers don’t grow on trees once the initial wave of free agents has been signed, and Beckham still has that talent. How well the league believes he can translate it to success — and how much Kansas City believes that’s worth — will determine how his market ultimately takes shape.