The Buffalo Bills are no longer considered one of the top favorites to land the biggest free-agency prize of the NFL season.
For months, the Bills had been seen as one of the frontrunners to sign Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but the emergence of a new contender and an uncertain future for Bills quarterback Josh Allen gave a hit to their odds this week. The odds drop comes after a poor performance from the Bills’ offense in their 20-17 loss to the New York Jets on November 6, which prompted some insiders to suggest the Bills make a hard run at Beckham.
Other Contenders Surpass Bills in Race for OBJ
Over the past few months, the Bills were pegged as one of the top two teams in contention for Beckham. As Zach Dimmit of SI.com’s Bills Central noted, they were No. 2 when DraftKings published odds back in August, behind only the Los Angeles Rams.
Other teams have jumped in the mix as the season has worn on, but as recently as November 4 the Bills were still seen as a favorite. As Syracuse.com’s Ryan Talbot noted, the Bills had the fourth-best odds from BetOnline, with 5-to-1 odds to sign the Pro Bowler.
Those odds appear to be dropping. As WYRK noted, Bookie.com now has the Bills at sixth in the race, giving them roughly 14-to-1 odds.
The increased odds come as the Dallas Cowboys have jumped into the race for Beckham. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a public pitch for the wide receiver on November 8, saying in an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday that Beckham “is someone we have all the appreciation in the world for what he is as a competitor and know that the Cowboys star on the helmet when he puts it on could look pretty good.”
The Bills saw other betting odds skew this week after an injury to Allen. The Bills quarterback hurt his elbow in the final drive against the Jets, raising fears that it could be a season-ending injury. Bills coach Sean McDermott clarified on Wednesday that he is day-to-day, and could potentially play on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Bills Make Bid for OBJ
The Bills have made something of a public push for Beckham, with his former teammate leading the way. Von Miller has regularly pushed Beckham on social media and told reporters he believes it’s essentially a done deal for Beckham to sign with the Bills.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane has been a bit more cautious, saying after the November 1 trade deadline that the team would be interested in Beckham — if everything were to line up correctly.
“OBJ is a heck of a talent,” Beane said, per The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia. “If we think he can help his team, we’d be crazy not to at least look into it. Says if they did, financials, role would all have to line up.”
Beckham is in the final stages of rehab for a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl, and is expected to be ready to play for the final stretch of this season and the playoffs. After Buffalo’s offense struggled against the Jets, some pundits suggested they should target Beckham to boost their passing game and reinforce their Super Bowl hopes.