Bruce Arians’ old Odell Beckham quote comes back to haunt him
Odell Beckham Jr. certainly looked effective Sunday in the NFC Divisional round, begging the question of whether the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have used him.
The Los Angeles Rams picked Beckham up in November after Beckham’s release from the Cleveland Browns. The addition paid off Sunday, as Beckham caught six passes for 69 yards in the first three quarters against the Buccaneers.
Beckham was a free agent, so it was theoretically possible for the Buccaneers to pursue him. They never did, but the reason cited at the time looks pretty bad in retrospect. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk unearthed Arians’ quote about not chasing Beckham because of Antonio Brown’s presence.
Do the Bucs regret not pursuing Odell Beckham Jr. when they had the chance? Here's Bruce Arians, from early November: “We’ve already got AB, we don’t need OBJ. Too many letters.”
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 23, 2022
Arians is being a bit flippant and unserious here, but that doesn’t make it any less awkward in retrospect. Brown, of course, is no longer with the Buccaneers after a late-season meltdown. To make matters worse, the Buccaneers also endured a season-ending injury to Chris Godwin, which thinned their receiver group significantly.
Ultimately, it’s easy to look back in hindsight and say that Tampa Bay should have at least tried for Beckham, but wide receiver didn’t look like a need at the time he was available. Arians’ quote still aged remarkably poorly.
Photo: Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers former player Odell Beckham, Jr. in attendance before the College Football Playoff national championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports