The National Football League is one of the most recognized sports brands in the NFL, and yet, they rely on the uber-scientific process of a coin flip in a break-glass case of determining who gets a player.
And Tuesday, the New England Patriots could find themselves in such a situation.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is on waivers, marking the end of his time with the Cleveland Browns. A once-star receiver who has flamed out, it’s not clear if any team will pick up his contract on waivers, or if all 32 teams will just wait for him to pass through and become a free agent.
ESPN’s Field Yates posted the waiver order Tuesday morning, and you’ll notice some teams say “coin flip”) next to them.
How is this possible, you ask? Well, the waiver order is determined by record, with the worst team landing the top spot. Naturally, there are teams with the same record, so the tiebreaker is the combined record of their opponents to that point. If any teams have the same record and opponent record, and they both put a claim in on the same player, then a coin flip is used to determine who gets the player.
So, the possibility exists that the Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals — two teams in the middle of the pack but with legitimate playoff chances — both put claims in on Beckham. If that’s the case, then the NFL will have to have a coin flip in order to determine which team gets him.
What chaos that would cause.