The Seahawks made the “strongest” offer to Rams receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency last week, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Saturday. Per Fowler, other NFC West interest existed with the Cardinals contacting Beckham’s camp as well.
It’s especially clear that Beckham’s signing with Los Angeles on a one-year, $1.25 million deal was motivated by other reasons—not solely financial. As Fowler tweeted, the Rams “added heavy incentives because they wanted the player, but they also had to ensure no other NFC West team got him.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had this figure at $3 million at the time of signing.
There are various other possible factors to Beckham’s decision to decline a move to the Pacific Northwest. For instance, the sprawling, celebrity-packed, sunny Los Angeles may have proved more appealing over cold and wet Seattle.
Narrative-wise, the Seahawks are also viewed as a run-first, run-heavy team. Pete Carroll’s PR department has taken repeated blows and was certainly not helped by certain offseason shenanigans.
With Russell Wilson at quarterback, this "run-run-run" mentality has not been true in recent games. Prior to Wilson’s injury, Seattle's pass-run splits were trending towards the 60 percent mark in favor of the pass.
Moreover, Wilson’s return versus the Packers brought with it a 67.5 percent neutral pass rate and astonishingly high figures of a 63 percent pass rate on first down, plus a 77 percent pass rate on second down. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron wants to pass.
Cold figures aside, it’s clear that Beckham was heavily influenced by the perceived style of each pitching offense. Indeed, ESPN’s Dianna Russini's Rams source went as far to mention the passing rate of Los Angeles' attack.
The MVP campaign of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is also highly relevant.
Finally, the simplest and likeliest motivation would be looking at the Rams’ win-loss record compared to the Seahawks. At the time of Beckham’s signing, L.A. sat at 7-2 compared to Seattle at 3-5.
Ultimately, Fowler’s report is a reminder that the Seahawks' front office seeks to be involved with everything—a point Carroll is keen to emphasize whenever a potential move is suggested by reporters at press conferences.
"The situation that we have been in so many times before when we have opportunities, we explore it and go as far as we can,” Carroll told reporters last Friday. “That’s what we did, [general manager] John [Schneider] took it all the way through and made sure we knew what was going on."
The news of Seattle making the strongest offer to Beckham also reiterates that a front office can only do so much to persuade a free agent to sign with their team.
"He [Odell] had picked the place that he wanted to go to once he cleared waivers and he got a chance to do that," Carroll summarized.
The days of Paul Allen being aggressively involved in recruiting and the Seahawks being one of the hottest, shiniest spots in the league have been and gone.
Beckham caught two passes for 18 yards in his Rams debut. However, his opportunities in the passing game are likely to increase following the season-ending knee injury Robert Woods suffered last week.
For Seattle, getting Wilson playing his best football as fast as humanly (Wilsonly) possible to avoid a repeat of the disastrous shutout at the Packers and boost the defense is now the priority.