Before the season opener between the Bills and Rams, free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. joked that maybe he’d sign with the winner of the game. As the Giants and Cowboys prepare to play in four days, maybe OBJ will make a similar observation.
NFL Media reports that Beckham plans to visit the Giants and the Cowboys after Thanksgiving.
It creates an obvious tug of war between bitter rivals for Beckham. And the prize isn’t just getting OBJ, but keeping the other team from getting him; it’s the free-agent equivalent of a 14-point swing.
The Cowboys have been showing “the love” to Beckham, which was the difference maker a year ago, when he surprisingly selected the Rams. The Giants haven’t been as aggressive, but they clearly have interest.
It would be a stunner to see Beckham back with the Giants. Drafted in the first round by the team in 2014, Beckham became a star in New York. But he also became a distraction with sideline outbursts and other antics. His greatest hit happened when he literally hit the kicking net with his helmet and it recoiled, slamming into his bare head.
Off the field, things got dicier. 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 EuroJournal. For still unknown reasons, Lil Wayne was sitting with Beckham during the entire session.
Asked during the interview whether the Giants have an issue at quarterback, Beckham said, “Uh, I don’t know.” Asked whether he’s happy in New York, Beckham said, “That’s a tough question.”
After the 2018 season, the Giants dumped Beckham onto the Browns, apparently without running the destination by him first.
Although the Giants have had a regime change since then, ownership remains the same. And the quarterback at the time Beckham said “I don’t know” if there’s a quarterback issue, Eli Manning (who, despite his usually quiet demeanor while playing, chimed in regarding OBJ’s antics), continues to work for the team.
Beckham visited the Giants earlier this season without technically visiting them. He stopped by the facility to check on receiver Sterling Shepard, who had suffered a non-contact torn ACL. Beckham didn’t meet with any coaches or executives. (Some around the league still believe it should have been reported as an official visit.)
Whether the Giants actually want Beckham, they’d be smart to join the pursuit, if only to force the Cowboys to pay more for his services. He reportedly wants a prorated contract based on an annual salary of $20 million.
Whether Beckham actually wants to return to the Giants, he’d be smart to do the dance, in order to get an offer closer to that goal from the Cowboys, or someone else.
The Giants may not be the only team with which the Cowboys are vying. Adam Schefter of EuroJournal.com reports that “talks with teams” are underway. Although he doesn’t reiterate the report that OBJ plans to visit the Cowboys and Giants, Schefter adds the Chiefs, Bills, and 49ers as potentially interested teams.
Both outlets reports a decision is expected after Thanksgiving. So, basically, after you eat your turkey, get your popcorn ready.