HomeSportsNFLSauce Gardner reveals Odell Beckham Jr. wanted to play for New York Jets

Sauce Gardner reveals Odell Beckham Jr. wanted to play for New York Jets

by Nick Geddes
Odell Beckham Jr.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The New York Jets offered Odell Beckham Jr. a contract in free agency, though a deal between the two sides never materialized.

Beckham Jr. instead signed with the Baltimore Ravens, inking a one-year deal worth up to $18 million. According to Jets star cornerback Sauce Gardner, however, Beckham Jr.’s desire was to play for New York. In fact, the Jets had a visit scheduled the day after Easter to meet with the 30-year-old wideout. Baltimore swooped in on the holiday and gave Beckham Jr. an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“Odell, he wanted to play here,” Gardner recently told Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated. “It was to the point where he was picking his jersey. He was telling me, like, ‘Hey, ask so-and-so if I can get the jersey [number I want].’ He was going to wear number 7.”

Beckham Jr. will make $13.835 million in a signing bonus, have a $1.165 million base salary and be eligible for up to $3 million in incentives in 2023. Beckham appeared in eight games for the Los Angeles Rams in 2021, hauling in 27 receptions for 305 yards and five touchdowns as a key member of their title run. In addition to that run, in eight seasons, Beckham Jr. has 7,367 yards on 531 receptions and 56 touchdowns. The three-time Pro Bowler reportedly sat out the entirety of the 2022 season to focus on his rehab after suffering a torn ACL in Super Bowl LVI.

Did the Ravens overpay for Odell Beckham Jr.?

Asked earlier this month by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk how he would respond to those who say Baltimore overpaid for Beckham Jr., Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta had the following to say:

“We’re looking at a lot of other things too,” DeCosta said. “We’re looking at potentially what he might get as a [compensatory] pick the following year, on a one-year deal, has a good year for us, hits the market next year, what’s that gonna look like? We were looking at things like the benefit to the community, the benefit in ticket sales, jersey sales. How’s he gonna play? What’s he gonna do for our offense? What do our coaches think about him? Remember, [offensive coordinator] Todd Monken had a relationship with him, so we had some information about OBJ.

“And then how’s it going to affect Lamar as a passer, you know? How’s he going to play? We want to maximize Lamar’s ability. I’ve probably done a poor job at doing that over the last couple of years in some ways by not having more receivers around him. And we love the guys we have, but you know, in terms of building the best possible offense, that’s a factor, too. So, you know, every situation has residual values associated, every player that you bring in is different and they affect things differently: leadership, ability, community, whatever that might be long term and we see OBJ as a big part of that whole thing.”