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Sauce Gardner: OBJ wanted to play for the Jets

Mike Florio and Chris Simms analyze the message Quinnen Williams is sending to the Jets via social media and evaluate how his abilities stack up against other interior defensive linemen.

Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was due to visit the Jets the day after Easter. Enter the Ravens, who got a deal done before Beckham could make the visit.

But the Baltimore’s intervention with a surprisingly strong offer, Beckham likely would have been a Jet.

“Odell, he wanted to play here,” cornerback Sauce Gardner recently told Conor Orr of “It was to the point where he was picking his jersey. He was telling me, like, ‘Hey, ask so-and-so if I can get the jersey [number I want].’ He was going to wear number 7.”

The key number was 15. As in the $15 million guaranteed Beckham got from the Ravens on a one-year deal, along with $3 million in reachable incentives.

The Jets likely would have been more in the range of $5 million or less in guaranteed pay, with a significant upside. Whatever the real numbers were, the Ravens blew it out of the water.

“We’re looking at a lot of other things too,” Ravens G.M. Eric DeCosta told #PFTPM earlier this month regarding the decision to break the bank for Beckham. “We’re looking at potentially what he might get as a [compensatory] pick the following year, on a one-year deal, has a good year for us, hits the market next year, what’s that gonna look like? We were looking at things like the benefit to the community, the benefit in ticket sales, jersey sales. How’s he gonna play? What’s he gonna do for our offense? What do our coaches think about him? Remember, [offensive coordinator] Todd Monken had a relationship with him, so we had some information about OBJ.

“And then how’s it going to affect Lamar as a passer, you know? How’s he going to play? We want to maximize Lamar’s ability. I’ve probably done a poor job at doing that over the last couple of years in some ways by not having more receivers around him. And we love the guys we have, but you know, in terms of building the best possible offense, that’s a factor, too. So, you know, every situation has residual values associated, every player that you bring in is different and they affect things differently: leadership, ability, community, whatever that might be long term and we see OBJ as a big part of that whole thing.”

They gave him a big pile of money to get him to be part of the whole thing. We’ll see whether they get the return they’re hoping for.