When Odell Beckham Jr. hit the open market, the Green Bay Packers immediately stood out as a potential landing spot for the star wide receiver. But the Los Angeles Rams swooped in in the final hours, landing a new playmaker to help fill the void after the Robert Woods injury.
Now, Beckham Jr. is set to play at Lambeau Field on Sunday against Green Bay. It comes at a time when the Packers’ offense is dealing with multiple injuries, including running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Allen Lazard. But, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Packers might have had a better shot at signing OBJ if not for money.
Schefter reported Sunday morning that the Packers and Rams were the two finalists to sign Beckham Jr., with the former Pro Bowl selection going back and forth on his options. However, the terms of the contracts offered by both teams made a significant difference.
Green Bay only offered a veteran’s minimum contract with some incentives included that could have raised the total value of the deal. The Packers were limited by the NFL salary cap and specific league rules regarding ‘likely team-based incentives’ that gave the Rams an edge in negotiations.
The Rams’ deal offered $3 million worth of incentives. As the team advances through the NFL playoffs, Beckham Jr. can earn certain bonuses. Among them; $500,000 for a Wildcard Round win or bye, $750,000 for a Divisional Round win, $750,000 for winning the NFC Championship Game and $1 million if the Rams win the Super Bowl.
Los Angeles took advantage of a specific NFL rule regarding team-based incentives. Because the Packers reached the NFC Championship Game in each of the past two seasons, hose contract markers are viewed as “likely” to be reached and factor more into the salary cap. So, it became more challenging for the Packers to match the Rams’ offer.
Ultimately, even meeting or exceeding it might not have been enough. FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer previously reported that OBJ dreamed of playing in Los Angeles for years and it was always his preferred landing spot because of the marketing opportunities in a large market. Once the Rams expressed interest in him, the race to sign Beckham Jr. was over.