The NFL continues to throw surprises at fans even through the course of the offseason. With multiple blockbuster trades already done, there are several free agents still out there who will land up with new teams, or possibly even return to their earlier ones. We bring you some of the most intriguing storylines to watch out for from the NFL in the days to come.
Odell Beckham Jr. leaves door open for Browns deal following Deshaun Watson trade
The fallout between Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns was televised for the world to see last season. More than the Browns management itself, OBJ's scorn was mainly directed at quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Beckham was targeted a total of 34 times by Mayfield last season, a mark which he and his father believed was way less than it should have been.
While Beckham's desire to leave the Browns was doing the rounds for some time, it was a video compilation posted by his father, highlighting the times Mayfield missed the wide receiver in open play that seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for Beckham's time in Cleveland.
Subsequently being cut by the Browns, OBJ landed with the LA Rams for the remainder of the NFL season where he'd go on to win his first Super Bowl ring. But with the Rams opting to sign Allen Robinson as their WR2, Beckham finds himself as a free agent heading into the 2022 NFL season.
While Beckham's heroics with the Browns will surely see him find a team for next season, a surprise contender has emerged for his signature. You guessed it, it's the Cleveland Browns.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, OBJ hasn't closed the door on a return to the Dawg Pound:
"Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t slammed the door shut on a return to the Browns, but it’s unlikely at this point."
Odell recently responded to a Browns fan's tweet begging him to return to Cleveland. Odell responded by saying that it's definitely an interesting choice.
Cabot further went on to say that sources too have backed the possibility of him returning following the side's Deshaun Watson trade:
"Now that Mayfield is on his way out and three-time Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson is here, Beckham, 29, wouldn’t rule out coming back if the Browns were interested."
Commanders tried to lure Andrew Luck out of retirement to play in 2022 NFL season
The Washington Commanders are a franchise in transition. Trading for quarterback Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts, the franchise looks to make its way back to the NFL playoffs in 2022.
But before the side landed Wentz, they tried to tempt another former Indy quarterback out of retirement. That quarterback being none other than four-time NFL Pro Bowler Andrew Luck.
According to a report by John Keim, the Commanders had attempted to lure the 32-year-old out of retirement to dress up for the franchise. Luck, who retired earlier in 2019 due to injuries hasn't played a snap in the NFL since.
The Colts as well had earlier explored the possibility of bringing back the former Stanford product to no avail. And with the Commanders since trading for Wentz, the likelihood of Luck ever returning to the NFL has grown slimmer.
Minnesota Vikings sign former Packers star Za'Darius Smith to $42 million contract
Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith was one of the hottest defensive prospects up for grabs this offseason. While the Baltimore Ravens believed they had gotten their man after verbally agreeing to a four-year $35 million contract, Smith walked out on the contract, leaving him a free agent.
Now the Packers' division rival, the Minnesota Vikings, are the team who have managed to tie down the linebacker to a three-year $42 million deal.
The two-time Pro Bowler was a rock on the Packers defense over his three seasons at Lambeau Field. But with the Vikings now claiming his signature, Aaron Rodgers and company will have one more headache to deal with when facing their division rivals.