Patriots

Breer: Why Patriots should have 'really good intelligence' on OBJ

Patriots

Should the New England Patriots attempt to sign Odell Beckham Jr.?

It's an interesting question that could depend on what the Patriots think of Beckham's talents, and how they believe the soon-to-be-waived Cleveland Browns wide receiver would mesh with rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the rest of New England's locker room.

Fortunately for Bill Belichick, the Patriots have someone on staff who knows Beckham pretty well: front office consultant Eliot Wolf.

Perry: How and when could OBJ land with Patriots? An explainer

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer detailed Wolf's under-the-radar connection to Beckham Sunday on NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Pregame Live.

"Eliot Wolf, who works in the Patriots front office, was the assistant general manager of the Cleveland Browns when the Browns traded for Odell Beckham in 2019," Breer explained, as seen in the video above. "So the Patriots should have really good intelligence on Odell Beckham based on the fact that Wolf and Beckham spent the entire season together."

Cleveland gave up a lot to acquire Beckham and defensive end Olivier Vernon from the New York Giants in 2019 -- Jabrill Peppers, Kevin Zeitler, and first- and third-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft -- so Wolf likely did plenty of due diligence on the talented wide receiver in his assistant GM role with the Browns.

How realistic is a Beckham-Patriots pairing? The 29-year-old will hit waivers Monday but is expected to go unclaimed, meaning any team could sign him after Tuesday afternoon. He reportedly wants to join a postseason contender, and if New England beats the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, it would be in the AFC playoff hunt at 5-4.

 

As for Beckham's acrimonious departure from Cleveland and reputation as a less-than-ideal teammate? Breer echoed some of what our Phil Perry reported earlier this week.

"If you ask people in Cleveland, what they will tell you is day-to-day, he wasn't a problem," Breer said. "He's never going to be a team leader. He's kind of quiet, he can be a little aloof, but most of the coaches that I talked to this week were really, really caught off-guard by the LeBron tweet, the Instagram post from Odell's dad, so I think there's a lot to sort through here."