Unlike a year ago when they dove headfirst into free agency, the New England Patriots have taken a slower approach to the open market this offseason. Throughout the first week of action, the team took a more familiar approach of making minor deals, retaining some key in-house free agents, and have largely laid in the weeds as they wait for value to sprout.
One area that the club has yet to firmly address is finding a receiver that can sit atop the depth chart and help raise the ceiling for the offense. While some of the top-tier options are now off the board, one intriguing name is still sitting on the open market -- Odell Beckham Jr. The former Rams receiver has yet to sign with a team to this point and that has seemingly caught the attention of Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon, who is now openly recruiting Beckham to sign with New England on social media.
Beckham is just the latest free agent that Judon has tried to lure to Foxborough as he's also called out the likes of Allen Robinson, Chandler Jones, Stephon Gilmore, and others on social media. While he's yet to land one of those big fish, Judon was able to get a response from Beckham as the wideout commended him for his relentless recruiting.
Lol they need to gon head and get u a lil raise !! I see u been recruiting— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) March 22, 2022
To that response, Judon did tweet out that "we might got one," so it's possible Beckham is at least hearing the pass rusher's pitch.
Beckham has long been a fan-favorite target for the Patriots dating back to when Tom Brady was still under center. Even in his departure, the connection between Beckham and New England hasn't subsided as they were one of the teams vying for his services in the midst of last season following his release from the Cleveland Browns. The receiver even noted that Bill Belichick called Beckham directly and that nearly had him sign with the team before ultimately choosing the Rams.
"For a guy, coach like Bill Belichick, who've all admired for years and I've seen and just always was like, 'Man, one day, I'm gonna play for Bill Belichick.' For him to call me, to be able to just sit down on the phone with him and talk football, I mean, what more could you ask for?" Beckham said back in February. "So, I was very close. That was one of the teams that was in there. But I felt like [Los Angeles] was home."
Beckham's decision to sign with the Rams did prove to be the correct call as he would go on to win his first ever Super Bowl title. However, he did suffer a torn ACL amid that win over the Cincinnati Bengals, which is likely one of the key reasons why he is still a free agent. When healthy, however, he's still capable of being a top option in the passing game, catching 48 passes for 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games with the Rams last season (including playoffs).
Naturally, a return to L.A. could also be in the cards for Beckham. He has expressed a desire to re-sign and head coach Sean McVay has also gone on record saying the same thing. While the Rams did sign Allen Robinson in free agency, they also traded away veteran receiver Robert Woods to Tennessee, so there is still a need there on the roster.
Meanwhile, if the Patriots like the progress Beckham is making in his rehab, he'd be an ideal weapon for second-year quarterback Mac Jones as New England looks to develop its first-round receiver and take another step toward re-entering the Super Bowl conversation.