Morning Sports Update

Patriots ‘worth watching’ as possible fit for free agent Odell Beckham Jr.

New England reportedly "evaluated" Beckham in free agency earlier in 2022.

Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. catching a touchdown pass in Super Bowl LVI. AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

The Bruins begin the new season against the Capitals in Washington D.C. tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The Patriots continue to prepare for the team’s Week 6 matchup against the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Odell Beckham Jr. and the Patriots: For the second year in a row, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a prominent in-season NFL free agent.

Beckham joined the Rams midway through the 2021 season and helped Los Angeles reach (and win) the Super Bowl. However, he suffered a torn ACL and has been recovering since.

Currently a free agent, the 29-year-old will have a list of suitors whenever he’s able to return to the field.

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In a recent ESPN ranking, the Patriots were listed among the teams potentially in the running to sign Beckham.

At 2-3 (and currently dealing with an injury to quarterback Mac Jones), the Patriots are not ranked among the frontrunners. Instead, New England is identified as a “wild-card” possibility for Beckham. Part of it is predicated on Jones’s style as a passer.

“When back healthy, Jones is a timing thrower who can deliver the ball with anticipation,” wrote ESPN’s Matt Bowen. “That means more crossers, overs and in-breakers, which would be a fit for Beckham. And it would give the Patriots more juice on offense.”

Fellow ESPN analyst Jeremy Fowler noted that the Patriots checked in with Beckham during the offseason.

“New England is worth watching because I’m told it heavily evaluated Beckham’s market early in free agency in March,” Fowler explained. “Like most teams, it knew Beckham’s recovery would take a while, so talks never went anywhere.”

The Patriots, Fowler added, have $4.4 million in salary cap space, “which should be enough to make something work.”

Still, as Patriots reporters have pointed out, a possible addition of Beckham would likely require the team to move another wide receiver first (with Kendrick Bourne’s name being mentioned).

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Trivia: Odell Beckham Jr. has caught 59 touchdowns in his career (including regular season and the playoffs). Can you name the four players who threw him those touchdowns?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: One from the Giants, two from the Browns (one of whom is not a quarterback and was also Beckham’s college teammate at LSU), and one from the Rams.

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On this day: In 1979, Celtics shooting guard Chris Ford hit what is acknowledged to be the first 3-point field goal in NBA history. The 3-point line, voted into the NBA that summer via the American Basketball Association (ABA), was originally opposed by notable basketball figures. This included Celtics general manager Red Auerbach.

“We don’t need it,” Auerbach said of the 3-point line to the New York Times. “I say leave our game alone. Putting in the 3-point play reminds me of a team that trades four, five and six players every year. Everybody starts panicking. TV panicked over the bad ratings. You’ll see a dramatic uprise in the league next year when Bill Walton, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson come in. These players have charisma. There is no way you can measure it. Charisma starts before you can play the game.”

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So it was ironic that the Celtics were the first team to hit a three, though Boston was among the earliest adopters of 3-point shooting. In the 79-80 season, the Celtics took the second-most threes in the league (422), and tallied the top 3-point percentage (.384).

For reference, Stephen Curry led the NBA last season with 750 3-point attempts.

Daily highlight: Mika Zibanejad scored a skillful short-handed goal for the Rangers in a 3-1 win over the Lightning on Tuesday.

Trivia answer: Eli Manning, Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, and Matthew Stafford

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