Odell Beckham Jr. will not be joining the New England Patriots.
Despite heavy speculation in recent days linking Beckham to New England, the former Cleveland Browns wide receiver officially signed with the Los Angeles Rams, the team announced Thursday.
The Browns cut ties with the 29-year-old wideout last week. He officially cleared waivers Tuesday afternoon, making him free to sign with any team.
A three-time Pro Bowler with the New York Giants, Beckham was unable to replicate that success during his 2 1/2 years in Cleveland. In six games this season before his release, he caught just 17 passes for 232 yards and no touchdowns as his already tenuous on-field relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield deteriorated beyond repair.
The Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints also were among the teams that reportedly made offers to or showed strong interest in Beckham.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported Wednesday that Beckham was homing in on the Chiefs, Packers and Saints, seemingly removing the Patriots from contention. Subsequent reports suggested New England still was in the running, but Beckham ultimately chose to join Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford on a Rams team that is making a strong push for a Super Bowl title.
The 7-2 Rams already boasted one of the NFL’s most prolific passing attacks, ranking third in passing yards per game and second in yards per pass attempt. Beckham will slot in alongside Cooper Kupp (74 catches, 1,019 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Robert Woods (45-556-4) to form an elite receiving trio. Kupp leads the league in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Second-year pro Van Jefferson also has been productive this season (27-433-3).
Defensively, LA boasts All-Pros at cornerback (Jalen Ramsey) and defensive tackle (Aaron Donald) and swung a blockbuster deal for former Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller ahead of last week’s NFL trade deadline.
The team announcement of Beckham’s signing came after a chaotic series of social media reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter initially reported Beckham was finalizing a deal with LA, only to have multiple other outlets report the wideout had yet to make his final decision. The Rams’ official website reportedly published a story about Beckham’s arrival, then deleted it, fueling further speculation.
The Patriots now will push forward with their receiving corps of Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, N’Keal Harry and Gunner Olszewski. That group combined for a mere four catches for 42 yards Sunday as the Patriots leaned on their productive rushing attack in a 24-6 win over the Carolina Panthers.
New England will host Beckham’s former team, the Browns, this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.