The Eagles should put in a claim on Odell Beckham Jr.

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Odell Beckham Jr.’s time in Cleveland appears to be coming to an end.

The question is — should his next game be played for the Eagles?

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Although nothing is official, it seems it is only a matter of time until the Cleveland Browns release Beckham Jr., and an ESPN report suggests it could come as soon as Friday.

If/when he is released, Beckham Jr. will go through the waiver process. The Eagles, at 3-5, are currently eighth in the waiver order. It is possible a team ahead of them, like Miami, could claim Beckham Jr.

If he does make it to them, however, the Eagles should put in a claim.

To start — yes, Beckham Jr. does come with some red flags.

His time in Cleveland coming to an end the way it is should be something the Eagles consider. Head coach Nick Sirianni has built a good culture at the NovaCare Complex. Bringing in Beckham Jr. could be a risk, considering he has left two teams on bad terms.

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It is also fair to question if Beckham Jr. is still a top-level player. He hasn’t topped 400 yards receiving in either of the last two seasons, and hasn’t topped 1,100 yards receiving since 2016. He has had trouble staying healthy, playing in just 13 total games over the last two years, and hasn’t played in 16 games since 2016. He has 17 catches for 232 yards in six games this season.

Any receiver the Eagles add at this point in the season, however, is going to come with some red flags. No player available now is perfect, especially ones that are free agents. Not all players, however, have the upside Beckham Jr. does. The chance to add Beckham Jr. this late in the season is a unique one, and it is one the Eagles should take advantage of because of their clear need at the receiver position.

The Eagles do have some young, promising receivers in Devonta Smith, Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor, but at this point they have all been very inconsistent. The team is in need of a veteran receiver with a proven track record they can count on. A professional wide receiver that Jalen Hurts can go too in big spots. The Eagles have shown they can run the ball, but as the season continues and they make a push towards the playoffs there are going to be moments where they have to pass the ball. So far they haven’t shown anywhere near a consistent ability to do that. Adding a veteran receiver like Beckham Jr. should help.

Financially acquiring Beckham Jr. would not be cheap, but an NFL Network report suggests the Browns could be lowering his base salary prior to close to the minimum, which would soften the blow for any team claiming him.

As of now Beckham has base salary of $14.5 million this season, and the Eagles would be on the hook for about half of it. Chances are, however, the hit will be lower than the roughly $8 million it is now — it could be the league minimum, as the NFL Network report suggests. Moving forward, Beckham Jr. is owed $13.75 million in both 2022 and 2023, but none of that is guaranteed. So essentially the Eagles would be taking on his base salary for this season, and if they wanted to keep him beyond this season, they would likely re-do his deal to lower his hits in future years in exchange for guaranteeing more money.

Claiming Beckham Jr. is a risk. It could backfire, like it did for Cleveland. In a year where the playoffs aren’t the top priority, however, it is a risk they are very much in a position to take.

If it doesn’t work, they can simply release him.

If it does, the Eagles could have found the No. 1 receiver they have been looking for in an unexpected, and perhaps season-changing way.

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!