Odell Beckham Jr. has remained a free agent for much longer than most anticipated. Beckham is coming off a Super Bowl championship with the Los Angeles Rams, where he caught the game's first touchdown before tearing his ACL.
Beckham also has past character issues that people haven't forgotten. As a superstar player, Odell Beckham Jr.'s personality is prone to criticism from fans and analysts who aren't rubbed the right way by how he conducts himself.
Former NFL wide receiver Torrey Smith defended Odell Beckham Jr. on Friday's episode of Good Morning Football. Smith said the media has never portrayed Beckham accurately as a player or teammate. Smith said:
“Odell’s always been that guy. Anyone that knows Odell Beckham, anyone that’s ever been around him knows that what the media has done and said is not who he’s ever been as a person. People, just because he made that big-time catch here in New York where we are. People took it and talked about him in a different way. Odell the person has never been a problem. Odell the teammate has never been a problem."
Smith then went on to talk about the saga between Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield dating back to their Cleveland Browns days. Beckham's dad famously released a video highlighting all the times Mayfield didn't throw to an open Beckham in an attempt to help his son get released or traded.
Despite that, Smith stakes his claim that Beckham wasn't the problem and that nobody in the league has a bad thing to say about him as a teammate. Smith said:
"Baker, I mean, maybe he's upset. But even within that locker room, he wasn't a person that was driving and calling them out and doing some things. You know, dad did what he had to do to get him out of there, right? But it was never actively doing anything. You will never find a teammate that says Odell Beckham was a horrible teammate, period."
To conclude, Smith blames some of the negative perceptions of Odell Beckham Jr. on the media. Smith thinks Beckham has received the short end of the stick, which frustrates Smith. Smith said:
"However, that hasn't been the narrative because of people from the outside. And I'm glad that it's been able to be controlled somewhat. Because people that know him, and I've known, I've been around him a bunch. It's been frustrating to see that because he is a superstar kind of player. But he's consistently been a good dude and I feel like he's got the short end of the stick from the media.”
Beckham's personality will always be a talking point. It's been one since he entered the league in 2014. His personality is why he didn't pan out long-term with the New York Giants.
And regardless of where you stand on whether it was Beckham or Mayfield's fault he left the Browns, it can't be doubted Beckham was involved in some capacity.
With the Rams, Beckham showed maturity and embraced being a veteran. With his personality maturing with age, the next question is where he'll play in 2022.
Who will sign Odell Beckham Jr.?
Odell Beckham Jr. will find a home for the 2022 season; it's just a matter of where. Beckham tweeted so himself recently, confirming that despite two recent ACL tears, he's not giving up on the game.
The Rams stand out as the likeliest destination for him. Beckham's rehab will jeep him sidelined until Thanksgiving, according to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero on Tuesday's Good Morning Football.
The Rams already have Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson at wide receiver, making Beckham luxury return later in the season.
Outside of the Rams, the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens stand out as the neediest wide receiver contending teams in the NFL.
Given his injury timeline, past character concerns, and state of the NFL, it will be fascinating to track where Odell Beckham Jr. will sign for the 2022 season.