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Odell Beckham Jr.
NFL

Will Odell Beckham Jr.’s Comments Scare Off Suitors?

  • Justin Melo
  • December 9, 2022
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Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. continues to tour a plethora of potential suitors. Beckham has officially visited three teams and has especially drawn interest from the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants (what a reunion that would be). The Buffalo Bills also expressed interest, although they’ve seemed to drop out of the running. 

Questions regarding Beckham’s health continue to emerge and his return-to-play timeline remains muddied. Beckham’s latest comments brought those concerns into sharper focus. NFL teams should be wary of signing Beckham until he’s healthy and ready.

“I haven’t made a decision,” Beckham recently said during an appearance on Amazon’s Thursday Night Football simulcast with The Shop. “I would like to be in a stable environment. I’ve played football for a long time. I’m not saying I couldn’t step in and play regular season, but I don’t see the point. I really don’t. I’d rather play when that pressure’s on.”

Beckham’s proclamation lines up with recent comments made by Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who has been a willing participant in Dallas’ rather public pursuit of Beckham’s services. Parsons claimed Beckham confided in him that he’d be ready to play in approximately five weeks. That timeline means Beckham would debut during the postseason, making him a rather risky gamble given the win-or-go-home stakes. Can a team afford to give Beckham snaps during the postseason given the uncertainty?

While Dallas’ players and fans have practically begged Beckham to sign on the dotted line, the Cowboys’ actual decision-makers have taken a far more reserved approach. And with good reason. Beckham has refused to hold private workouts for his potential suitors. It’s another telltale sign that signing Beckham requires a leap of faith. Beckham also underwent a thorough physical at Dallas’ training facility with team doctors. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has allegedly cooled his interest in Beckham following those two occurrences.

Beckham suffered a torn ACL in the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl LVI triumph on Feb. 13. He’s approximately 10 months into his post-surgery rehab. It also wasn’t the first serious knee injury of Beckham’s playing career—he suffered a torn ACL in 2020. Beckham returned roughly 11 months later. Given that this was Beckham’s second ACL injury and he’s older than he was in 2020, it’s no surprise he’s about a month away from returning. A receiver that partially relies on short-area quickness and quick-twitched movements was always going to need time.

Beckham has reportedly been pandering for a multi-year deal. Why wouldn’t he? It would prove to be financially fruitful for Beckham. It takes two to tango, however, and given the risk involved, no NFL franchise should feel comfortable signing Beckham to a multi-year contract.

A healthy Beckham is still capable of positively altering a team’s postseason aspirations. The defending champion Rams certainly benefited from Beckham’s late-season addition. Beckham recorded 21 receptions for 288 receiving yards and two touchdowns throughout the Rams’ four postseason victories, including the game-opening score in Super Bowl LVI.

But he can only contribute throughout the postseason if he’s actually healthy and available. Unfortunately, all evidence points to the contrary. Odell Beckham Jr. should go unsigned until the 2023 campaign.

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Justin Melo