Odell Beckham Jr. caught nine passes for 113 yards in Sunday’s NFC championship game, including a 29-yard reception on the game-tying field goal drive, in the Los Angeles Rams’ come-from-behind 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
OBJ is headed to his first Super Bowl as the Rams will take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Los Angeles in two weeks. It’s been a long road for the embattled wide receiver.
“Everything about this place is right, and it’s done right,” Beckham said. “It’s just been an incredible opportunity that I feel like I’m just trying to make the most of. Here we are playing in the Super Bowl, one game away from our dreams. Just keep going.”
That sounds like a man with some perspective.
This is Beckham’s eighth NFL season, and the way he burst onto the scene many would’ve thought he’d have reached and possibly won a Super Bowl by now. But a very bright start to his career hit some rough patches.
He was drafted 12th overall by the New York Giants in 2014. Playing in only 12 games, as he missed all of training camp and the first four games with a hamstring injury, Beckham finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,205 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Beckham was the lone bright spot in a 6-10 Giants season, highlighted by his miraculous one-handed touchdown catch on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys, and Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl honors.
Two more All-Pro and Pro Bowl seasons followed. The Giants were 6-10 and 11-5, respectively. That third season is when things started to change. Beckham proposed to the kicking net, he lost his mind in a matchup against corner Josh Norman, and then there was the infamous Timberland yacht party in Miami before the team’s wild-card playoff game.
Beckham’s final two seasons in New York were injury plagued and after the 2018 season, then Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, after making OBJ the highest-paid wide receiver in the game, traded the most talented player in team history to the Cleveland Browns.
OBJ had a solid 1,000-yard season in his first year with the Browns, but you could see that he and quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled to get on the same page. He tore his ACL in the 2020 season, and the Browns made the playoffs without him — behind marginally better play from Mayfield. This, of course, sparked the “Are the Browns and Mayfield better without OBJ?” question that dominated the talking head shows.
For more on Odell Beckham Jr.’s season of redemption and how his trade to the Los Angeles Rams got him to the Super Bowl and cleared his good NFL name, click here.
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