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Schefter: Odell Beckham Jr. to Bucs 'Challenging' Despite Tom Brady Wanting Him

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) in action during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)
Justin Berl/Associated Press

Pairing Odell Beckham Jr. with Tom Brady seems like fun on paper but would be tougher to pull off in real life because of the salary cap.

"While Tampa Bay and Tom Brady might want Odell Beckham Jr. there, can they fit in his contract? Can they make that work? I guess you could always try to make due with whatever you want, but I think it's challenging to fit a wide receiver in at that number on top of everything else they're trying to get done there," ESPN's Adam Schefter said Monday on Get Up.

Beckham has a $15.8 million cap hit for 2021 and remains under contract for three more seasons with the Cleveland Browns as part of the initial five-year deal he signed with the New York Giants.

Jeff Darlington of ESPN initially reported a potential Beckham move to the Buccaneers last month.

Brady is reportedly doing his part to create cap space by reworking his deal, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

This type of maneuvering will be vital to help the reigning Super Bowl champions remain competitive, with several high-profile players set to hit free agency, including Chris Godwin, Shaquil Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, Antonio Brown and Lavonte David.

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Tampa Bay is projected to have $19 million in cap space and won't be able to re-sign everyone, but adding another high cap hit from Beckham would create an even tougher situation.

The Buccaneers are also reportedly "headed" toward placing Godwin under the franchise tag, which would be worth about $16.5 million, per Jenna Laine of ESPN. With a $16.6 million cap hit for Mike Evans, there is already a lot of money going to the receiving corps.

Beckham has been a game-changer in the past and would be an interesting addition if the Bucs can make it work. The 28-year-old has topped 1,000 receiving yards in five of his seven NFL seasons and has 51 career touchdowns in just 82 games.

Things haven't been quite as rosy in recent years, including a 2020 that was cut short by a torn ACL. He finished with just 23 catches for 319 yards in seven games.

If the Buccaneers pull the trigger on a deal, they will hope he can return to his previous form and provide another upgrade for a passing attack that finished No. 2 in the NFL last season.  

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