Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. signed with the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, spurning what was reportedly an impassioned run at the former LSU Tiger by the New Orleans Saints. Per NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan, Super Bowl prospects were a key factor in Beckham Jr.’s decision, with the 7-2 Rams helmed by Matthew Stafford proving to be a more appealing destination than the 5-3 Saints led by Trevor Siemian.
It’s a minor sacrifice on Beckham Jr.’s part, who will go to an already-crowded receiver room featuring Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. It hurts the Saints significantly with Michael Thomas already shut down for the season. Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, and Tre’Quan Smith will have to continue to be the guys for the Saints.
It’s a problem accentuated by the Saints’ abysmal receiving performance against the Atlanta Falcons last week, in which Siemian saw his pass catchers drop five balls by halftime. While they picked up some steam in the second half and salvaged Siemian’s stat line to a degree en route to coming back from a 24-6 deficit, the Saints ultimately lost 27-25 on a last-second field goal from Younghoe Koo.
The Saints’ path to keeping pace in the NFC is only getting more difficult. With the 7-2 Rams adding firepower, the Saints also missed an opportunity to take the lead in the NFC South after last week’s loss. Jameis Winston being out for the season after tearing his ACL against the Buccaneers made things difficult, but not adding a wide receiver makes them seem more insurmountable.
Ultimately, the key thing the Saints are missing among the “haves” in the NFC is a star receiver. The Packers have Davante Adams, the Cardinals have DeAndre Hopkins, the Cowboys have Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb and the Buccaneers have Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Antonio Brown. In such a pass-happy league, no one to catch passes outside of Alvin Kamara is proving to be a major oversight by the Saints’ front office.
Ultimately, signing Beckham Jr. would have solved part of an immediate problem, but not all of it. Not signing him, however, make the issue at hand loom much larger, while also strengthening another serious threat in the NFC.