Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. agrees to deal with Rams

Sports

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland. Beckham Jr. has been excused from practice for the second straight day as the Cleveland Browns figure out their next move with the polarizing wide receiver, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/David Richard)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. agreed to a one-year deal with the Rams on Thursday, choosing Los Angeles and its burgeoning super team over several potential free-agent destinations.

The Browns released Beckham on Monday midway through his third season in Cleveland. He cleared waivers Monday with no team willing to pick up the $7.25 million he was owed under his last contract, freeing the five-time 1,000-yard wideout to sign with any team.

After considering his options, Beckham elected to join NFL yards passing leader Matthew Stafford and coach Sean McVay in one of the league’s most productive passing offenses. He will play alongside NFL receiving leader Cooper Kupp and starters Robert Woods and Van Jefferson.

Beckham is the second veteran NFL star in the past two weeks to join the Rams, who never run out of ways to stay under the salary cap despite their lavish acquisition of high-profile talent.

Los Angeles traded for Von Miller last week, sending two high draft picks to Denver for the elite pass-rushing linebacker. The Rams’ elite talent clearly was a draw for Beckham: Miller spoke to Beckham by phone shortly before the receiver’s deal was announced.

The Rams also don’t hesitate to add talent even to areas in which they’re strong: Miller joined a defense that already leads the NFL in sacks, while Beckham is joining an offense that DeSean Jackson left two weeks ago because he couldn’t get playing time in front of LA’s three starters.

The Rams ardently chased Beckham in 2018 when he was traded to Cleveland, and McVay has spoken glowingly of Beckham’s talents over the years. Beckham’s speed and athleticism should provide a welcome option for the Rams, who are already back among the NFL’s top offensive teams after a two-year lull.

Lakers star LeBron James welcomed Beckham on Twitter shortly before the deal was announced: “Welcome to LA my brother @obj! It’s GO TIME!!”

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