The 9 teams with enough cap space to claim OBJ off waivers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Odell Beckham Jr.‘s Cleveland Browns tenure is over.
After the Browns announced earlier in the day that they planned to release Beckham, Cleveland reached a contract settlement with the wide receiver on Friday night to finalize the move, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Pending the NFLPA’s approval of the reworked contract, Beckham will hit waivers on Monday and can be claimed on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
So where could the three-time Pro Bowler’s next home be?
Well, the number of teams that currently have enough cap space to take on Beckham’s deal is in the single digits. Beckham was originally due approximately $8 million for the rest of this season. Following his contract restructure, that figure has been brought down to $7.25 million, per Schefter. The remaining two years of Beckham’s deal, which had no guaranteed money, were removed as well. So Beckham is set to be a free agent after the 2021 season.
There are only nine teams, not including the Browns, that have at least $7.25 million in space as of Friday, according to Over the Cap. They are as followed, in order of where they fall in the current waiver wire order: Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 4 waiver priority), Washington Football Team (No. 7), Philadelphia Eagles (No. 8), Seattle Seahawks (No. 9), Denver Broncos (No. 17), Carolina Panthers (No. 19), Los Angeles Chargers (No. 20), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 21) and Cincinnati Bengals (No. 22).
The team with the highest waiver priority that places a claim on Beckham will be awarded the wideout.
Whether it’s through waivers or if Beckham becomes a free agent, the teams interested in the 29-year-old wideout are likely all going to be playoff contenders. With that said, it’s probably safe to say the 1-6 Jaguars won’t be putting in a waiver claim on Beckham. The 2-6 Football Team and 3-5 Eagles could still make a playoff push, but they still aren’t great fits either.
The waiver process starts to get real interesting starting with the Seahawks. While Seattle has the same record as Philadelphia at 3-5, Russell Wilson is nearing his return from finger surgery. And with there already being buzz that Wilson could be on the move this offseason, what better way to try to convince him to stay in Seattle than by going all-in this year with a wide receiver trio of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and OBJ?
The Steelers, who lost JuJu Smith-Schuster to a season-ending shoulder injury, and the Panthers, who don’t have great WR depth behind DJ Moore, also jump out as teams who make sense for Beckham.
Of course, with that $7.25 million cap number, there’s a good chance that no team places a claim on Beckham. Should that happen, he’ll become a free agent and have the ability to sign with any team.