If Odell Beckham Jr. clears waivers, he'll be able to sign with any NFL team. But it appears he has a certain kind of NFL team in mind.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver, who is expected to be placed on waivers Monday, wants to join a "playoff contender" and be in a "winning environment where he believes he would be happy and productive," ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday.
While nine teams (the New England Patriots not included) have the cap space to claim Beckham off waivers and absorb the $7.25 million remaining on his contract, several team executives believe it's "likely" Beckham will clear waivers by Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, opening the door for him to sign with his desired "playoff contender."
Would that list of contenders include the 4-4 Patriots? New England entered Sunday as the No. 8 seed in the AFC and isn't exactly an elite team at the moment with rookie Mac Jones at quarterback. But Beckham has plenty of respect for head coach Bill Belichick, and the Patriots are heading in the right direction after winning two in a row.
Schefter also made note of another factor that could make New England enticing for Beckham:
It's unclear whether Schefter knows something we don't or simply is pointing out that the Patriots play Beckham's former team next Sunday, which would allow the wide receiver to stick it to his old club if he came to Foxboro.
We doubt Beckham would make such a decision just to play a "revenge game" against the Browns, but given his acrimonious exit from Cleveland, that could be a potential factor.
Whether the Patriots want to pair Beckham with a rookie quarterback considering the wideout's track record in New York and Cleveland is a different story. But if New England wins Sunday to keep its momentum going, expect the team to be on Beckham's radar.