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Odell Beckham Jr. signs one-year deal with Rams, WR had also reportedly considered offer from Packers

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Odell Beckham Jr.’s free agency is over. The three-time Pro Bowl receiver has signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams, the club announced on Thursday afternoon. 

There was a bit of confusion prior to the Rams’ making the signing official. Beckham was on the fence between signing with either the Rams or the Packers, according to NFL Network’s Kim Jones. But Beckham ultimately chose to sign with the Rams, who like Green Bay are in the running to earn one of the NFC’s top playoff seeds. 

The addition of Beckham has increased the Rams’ win projection from 11.9 to 12 games, according to CBS Sports sport data scientist Stephen Oh. The Rams’ chances at winning their division have risen from 23.3 to 24.4 percent. Los Angeles’ odds at winning Super Bowl LVI has jumped from 11.1 to 11.5 percent. 

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Beckham is joining a Rams team that is going all-in on this season. The Rams, who are currently 7-2 and one game back of the Cardinals for the AFC West division lead, recently traded to acquire future Hall of Fame pass rusher Von Miller. Miller will make his Los Angeles debut on Sunday while joining a defense that includes three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey

The Rams’ receiving corps now includes Beckham, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson and tight end Tyler Higbee. Kupp leads the NFL with 74 receptions for 1,019 yards and 10 touchdowns. Woods, Jefferson and Higbee have caught a combined 107 passes for 1,313 yards and nine touchdowns. Beckham was likely signed in part to replace DeSean Jackson, who signed with the Raiders after he and the Rams mutually agreed to part ways. 

Los Angeles’ offense has been led by Matt Stafford, who has thrown for 2,771 yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions through nine games. The Rams’ offense also features running back Darrell Henderson, who has put up solid numbers while replacing injured starter Cam Akers

Beckham was free to sign with any NFL team after he cleared waivers after being released by the Browns on Monday. Had a team put in a claim for Beckham, they would have had to pick up his renegotiated contract of $7.25 million. While the Browns must pay Beckham $4.25 million, the team ultimately saved $3 million during the transaction.  

A three-time Pro Bowler, Beckham was granted his release from the Browns after catching just 17 passes for 232 yards in six games this season. In 29 games in Cleveland, Beckham caught 114 of 210 targets for 1,586 yards and seven receiving touchdowns. Beckham averaged nearly 1,100 receiving yards and nine touchdowns per season during his five years with the Giants. His best season was in 2015, when he caught 96 passes for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

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Beckham is looking to resurrect his career after battling through injuries over the past several years. He missed a majority of the 2017 season after undergoing ankle surgery. He underwent core muscle surgery following his first season with the Browns in which he caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns despite being on the team’s injury report throughout the season. Beckham missed the majority of the 2020 season after suffering a torn ACL. His most recent injury was a Grade 3 AC joint shoulder injury sustained during the Browns’ Week 6 loss to the Cardinals

With his time in Cleveland behind him, the 29-year-old receiver is surely looking to prove he is still one of the league’s best players. That is certainly the hope of the team that has acquired him just past the halfway point of the 2021 season. 

Fantasy take

If Odell Beckham wasn’t thrilled about not getting the ball from Baker Mayfield, I’m not entirely sure he’s going to be ecstatic about playing alongside Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. There is room for a third option in this offense to see a significant role, obviously — we’ve seen it before with Brandin Cooks in the past, and Tyler Higbee actually has the fourth-most targets inside the 10-yard line of any player in the NFL this season, too. However, it would require the Rams to change up how they run their offense — they are 16th in plays per game and 15th in pass rate, so they’ll need more volume if all three WR are going to eat. And, if Beckham is going to make an impact for Fantasy, Cooper Kupp probably won’t be able to sustain a 32% target share. It’s not unreasonable to think Beckham could still be a Fantasy starter in L.A., but it’s not a given. If you expect him to be a WR3 the rest of the season, you probably won’t be disappointed, and you just may be pleasantly surprised. But Kupp probably won’t be able to remain the No. 1 WR if that happens. — Chris Towers

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Portugal's Rafael Leao scores goal vs. Switzerland in 90+2' | 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Watch Portugal’s Rafael Leao scoring a goal against Switzerland in the 90+2′ in the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup.



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Should the NFC fear Brady, Bucs after late 4th quarter win over Saints in Wk 13? | FIRST THINGS FIRST

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Nick Wright, Chris Broussard, and Kevin Wildes discuss the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-16 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 13. Nick weighs in on Tom Brady’s performance vs. the Saints and explains the Bucs are guaranteed to be in the playoffs after the win. Broussard explains the Bucs should have lost the game but despite the odds came away with a win.



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Jayson Tatum Says Being In MVP Race Is ‘Surreal’

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(Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

 

Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum has taken yet another leap in his NBA career this season.

Before the 2022-23 campaign started, the 24-year-old had already cemented himself as one of the best young players in the league, but he has taken his game to new heights this season.

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As a result of his stellar play and the Celtics’ impressive 20-5 record, Tatum is hearing his name mentioned in MVP conversations more than ever before.

It doesn’t seem like he has gotten used to that feeling yet.

Tatum said Monday that it’s “surreal” to be in the MVP mix, adding that it’s something he dreamed about as a kid.

“It’s really like an honor,” Tatum said. “It’s kinda surreal living out your dreams in reality, being in the conversation. You dream about it as a kid, and for people to acknowledge and recognize that, saying you’re leading or in the running for MVP, I don’t take that lightly. That’s not something I brush over or get used to. I gotta pinch myself sometimes. I think it’s cool, to be honest. I still feel like a kid sometimes doing what I love. To be mentioned with guys like Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and things like that, I think that’s pretty cool.

“At the same, just trying to focus on game to game and being the best I can for the team — 20-5 is big. That’s how we wanted to start the season. Individually, all the guys, myself and J.B. (Jaylen Brown), everybody is going to get the things that they deserve. As far as being in the MVP race, it’s not something I’m used to. I get excited, I guess. It’s something — even though I’ve been in the league six years, I feel like a kid, thinking about the possibility of (winning MVP). There’s a long way to go, but it’s a surreal feeling being in that conversation.”

As Tatum mentioned, there’s still a long way to go, but he’s putting himself in position to be in the MVP race all season long.

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No Celtics player has won the award since Larry Bird in the 1980s, and Tatum is looking to change that.

 

Tatum’s Season At A Glance

Tatum is averaging 30.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game this season.

Last season, he averaged 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per contest.

What makes his uptick in scoring so impressive is the fact that it hasn’t come from an increase in volume — it has come from an increase in efficiency.

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Last season, he averaged 20.6 shots per game, and this season, he’s averaging 21.0 shots per game, which isn’t much of a difference at all.

But last season, he had a true shooting percentage of 57.8, and this season, he has maintained a true shooting percentage of 62.4.

That’s where the scoring boost has come from.

It would also be silly not to mention his defensive impact.

The three-time All-Star has become one of the better two-way players in the league, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why his team has the best record in the NBA.

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Tatum will look to add to his MVP case on Wednesday when the Celtics face the Phoenix Suns.

The post Jayson Tatum Says Being In MVP Race Is ‘Surreal’ appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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