The Las Vegas Raiders are an easy team to tie to Odell Beckham Jr., but would signing him make them the favorites to win the AFC West?
On Friday morning, the Cleveland Browns officially released wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with restructured contract terms. That opens the door for any team to claim him off waivers before Monday afternoon, after which point he’ll be free to sign anywhere.
The Las Vegas Raiders have won two games in a row since head coach Jon Gruden resigned after some troubling emails from a long time ago surfaced. Now, they are dealing with the situation around now former wide receiver Henry Ruggs and another player has apparently had an incident involving a vehicle.
On the field, however coldly given the situation, the Raiders now have a void to fill with Ruggs gone. They are also leading the AFC West with a 5-2 record coming out of their bye in Week 8. To say they are a Super Bowl contender is a reach, but….
Can the Raiders seize the AFC West by signing Odell Beckham Jr.?
The Raiders are among the easiest teams to tie to Beckham. Being 26th in the waiver wire order isn’t incredibly helpful if they put in a claim, and FanSided’s Matt Lombardo has passed along sentiment they wouldn’t want to court potential controversy based on what they’ve gone through lately. In a vacuum, or in a different time when Al Davis was alive, the Raiders would not care that much about any controversy attached to Beckham.
Elsewhere in the AFC West, the preseason Super Bowl favorite Kansas City Chiefs are 4-4 and not looking very good. The Los Angeles Chargers are 4-3 after losses on each side of their bye. The Denver Broncos are 4-4, with losses in four of their last five games after beating three soft opponents to start 3-0. Seemingly knowing their place in the playoff pecking order, Denver traded Von Miller to the Rams this week.
The Raiders played the Chiefs tough last year, nearly beating them in both meetings (they won once). They have both games against Kansas City this season still in front of them, in Week 10 and Week 14, and their remaining division games against the Broncos (Week 16) and Chargers (Week 18) will be at home. Going 3-1 in those games is definitely possible, with no worse than a season split with all three division brethren possible if they do so.
The Chiefs are also an easily rumored landing spot for Beckham, with a better place in the waiver order than the Raiders (18th). But if the Raiders can get him, more likely once he clears waivers and is a free agent if it gets there, they can add him and keep him away from their most prominent division rival. That latter part is enough to make the move if possible, even with what the team has been dealing with lately.