- Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
- Previously covered the Falcons
- Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball
Odell Beckham Jr. participated in his first practice with the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, and after the workout, he told reporters that his decision to sign with them “just felt right.”
“I took a lot of time in the decision-making, and it wasn’t to build anticipation or nothing,” he said. “This is my life and I feel like I’ve been through a lot. I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to play football, I’ve dedicated, I’ve sacrificed a lot to be here. It just happened that this felt right in my heart and in my soul.”
Beckham signed a one-year contract with the Rams after he cleared waivers following his release by the Cleveland Browns on Monday.
He joins the NFL’s third-ranked offense with the Rams scoring an average of 28 points per game behind quarterback Matthew Stafford’s 23 passing touchdowns. The Rams are 7-2 and in pursuit of a trip to Super Bowl LVI at owner Stan Kroenke’s $5 billion SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13.
“This is a tremendous team,” Beckham said. “Have a great opportunity to do some great things, and I just want to be a part of it.”
Beckham expressed some uncertainty whether he will play Monday against the division rival San Francisco 49ers (3-5), who have won four straight over the Rams.
“That’s up to Coach [Sean McVay] at the moment,” Beckham said. “Right now I’m trying to find ways to learn the playbook as fast as possible, and if there’s something he needs me to do, I’m always willing to do whatever it is.”
Beckham acknowledged an increased sense of urgency to acclimate following the news Saturday that teammate Robert Woods suffered a season-ending knee injury a day earlier. He joins a position group that also includes NFL-leading receiver Cooper Kupp and second-year pro Van Jefferson.
“These guys, they flow,” Beckham said. “It just feels right about the offense … but I hope to find a groove and help this team find ways to win.”
Beckham admits he has felt like the new kid at school as he has introduced himself to teammates. But he acknowledged that a phone call from friends Von Miller, whom the Rams acquired ahead of the trade deadline earlier this month, and Jalen Ramsey helped his decision-making process.
“It definitely played a role. You want to be where you feel loved and wanted and welcomed,” Beckham said. “I just got that feeling from Von and Jalen and all them boys, the receivers, when I got the call. It felt right in my heart and it’s something you got to go with your gut and your instinct.”
The Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks were also among teams that Beckham considered, sources had told ESPN.
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