Ahead of the season opener between the Bills and the Rams, free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. joked that he might sign with the winner of the game. As the Giants and Cowboys prepare to play in four days, OBJ may make a similar observation.
NFL Media reports that Beckham plans to visit the Giants and the Cowboys after Thanksgiving.
It creates an apparent tug of war between bitter rivals for Beckham. And the prize isn’t just getting OBJ, but stopping the other team from getting him; it’s the free-agent equivalent of a 14-point swing.
The Cowboys showed Beckham, who made the difference a year ago, “the love” when he surprisingly picked the Rams. The Giants weren’t that aggressive, but they clearly have an interest.
It would be amazing to see Beckham back with the Giants. Drafted by the team in the first round in 2014, Beckham became a star in New York. But he also became a distraction with page breaks and other antics. His biggest hit happened when he was literally hit the soccer net with his helmet and it rebounded and crashed into his bare head.
Away from the pitch things got dicey. The Giants signed Beckham to a five-year, $90 million extension in August 2018. Two months later, he sat for a bizarre interview with Josina Anderson, then of ESPN. For reasons still unknown, Lil Wayne sat with Beckham throughout the session.
When asked during the interview if the Giants have a quarterback problem, Beckham said, “Uh, I don’t know.” When asked if he was happy in New York, Beckham said, “That’s a tough question. “
After the 2018 season, the Giants dumped Beckham on the Browns, apparently without first running the target off of him.
Though the Giants have since had regime change, ownership remains the same. And then-quarterback Beckham said “I don’t know” if there’s a quarterback issue Eli Manning (who, despite his usually quiet demeanor during the game, chimed in regarding OBJ’s antics) continues to work for the team.
Beckham visited the Giants earlier this season without technically visiting. He stopped by the facility to check on recipient Sterling Shepard, who suffered a non-contact cruciate ligament tear. Beckham did not meet with any coaches or executives. (Some in the league still believe it should have been reported as an official visit.)
Whether the Giants really want Beckham, they would be smart to join the pursuit, if only to force the Cowboys to pay more for his services. He reportedly wants a pro-rated contract based on a $20 million annual salary.
As for whether Beckham actually wants to return to the Giants, he’d be smart about performing the dance to get an offer closer to that goal from the Cowboys or someone else.
The Giants may not be the only team the Cowboys compete with. ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reports that “talks with teams” are ongoing. While he doesn’t repeat the report that OBJ plans to visit the Cowboys and Giants, Schefter does add the Chiefs, Bills and 49ers as potentially interested teams.
Both outlets report that a decision is expected after Thanksgiving. So, basically, after you’ve eaten your turkey, prepare your popcorn.