The Los Angeles Rams discussed using Odell Beckham Jr. as an occasional punter on Monday night as part of a package of plays designed for the star-wide receiver, sources tell ESPN.
Beckham, who joined Los Angeles on a stimulus-laden deal this past Thursday, is expected to make his Rams debut Monday night against division rival 49ers, sources told ESPN.
Beckham was used as a throw-back early in his career with the Giants, but he has returned just one throw-back since 2019 in his additional two seasons with the Browns.
Star receiver Cooper Kupp was once the “safe” punter return of the Rams, launching canoes deep into his own territory. Beckham could be used there, as well as elsewhere, and Monday night will be the first glimpse of whether the Rams decide to deploy the idea.
The possibility of returning a punt was one of the ideas the Rams have been considering since signing Beckham to a one-year, $ 4.5 million, which is heavy on team-driven postseason incentives.
The Rams joined Beckham’s free bid last Tuesday after he withdrew resignation after being released by the Browns. Sources tell ESPN that the Rams felt they had a strong chance of getting Beckham after head coach Sean McVay had a long and direct conversation with the receiver about how he would be used in Los Angeles.
Beckham explained that he had three things he was looking for: a good coach, a good quarterback and a team that will win this season.
The Packers, Chiefs, Saints and Seahawks showed varying levels of interest, but the Rams fit all the criteria and were also able to offer Beckham something no other franchise could – Los Angeles as a location.
From there, the conversation between McVay and Beckham was the first of several discussions the three-time Pro Bowler would have with members of the Rams organization over the next two days. He also spoke with his friends Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey, with each player throwing the merits of playing in Los Angeles to Beckham.
Beckham and the Rams finally agreed to an agreement that includes the following details:
• A base salary of $ 750,000 for the remainder of this season.
• Signature bonus of $ 500,000.
• A $ 500,000 incentive if the Rams win a wildcard game or have a farewell, where Beckham is on the team’s active roster and plays at least one play.
• A $ 750,000 incentive if the Rams win a sectional playoff game and Beckham is active and plays at least one play in the game.
• A $ 750,000 incentive if the Rams win the NFC Championship Game and Beckham is active and plays at least one play in the game.
• $ 500,000 incentive to be on the Super Bowl roster and an additional $ 500,000 if the Rams win the Super Bowl.
One of the only attacks, according to sources, came when the sides were discussing what jersey number Beckham would wear. Beckham discussed taking No. 1, 3 and 13, but there were problems with each.
No. 1 was the jersey worn by former Rams receiver DeSean Jackson, who was resigned earlier this month. No. 3 has also been attractive for Beckham, but the number belongs to injured Rams running back Cam Akers for next season, and Beckham and the Rams would like their relationship to go beyond this year.
The No. 13 is currently carried by Rams backup quarterback John Wolford, so the Rams have decided for Beckham wearing No. 3 for the rest of this season, with the idea that he could switch to No. 13 in 2022 if he re-signs with. Los Angeles.
The Rams plan to try to re-sign both Beckham and Miller, who are in the final year of their contract, in the offseason, sources told ESPN.
Although they added Beckham and Miller to make a Super Bowl run this season, the Rams see their relationships with both players may last beyond 2021, according to sources. Los Angeles would also receive compensatory draft options if both players leave in free agency.