After months of speculation, the Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes will soon come to a close. Buffalo Bills superstar Von Miller has been publicly campaigning for the wide receiver to join him in Orchard Park since before the 2022 NFL season started and this past weekend, Beckham had his official visit with the team
While Miller said on his podcast last week, “I don’t think he’s going to leave,” after visiting Highmark Stadium, his former teammate visited with the New York Giants before flying to Buffalo, and on Monday, December 5, met with the Dallas Cowboys. NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported that Beckham will make his final decision by “mid-week.”
During a press conference on Monday, Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey became the first coach to make a public comment about Beckham’s visit.
“The biggest thing is, obviously, he’s a heck of a player,” Dorsey said. “But, we feel like we’ve got a lot of great players on our team, and anytime you can create opportunities, create problems for defenses, you’re always looking at ways to do that. Different ways to attack defense, whether it’s personnel or scheme. So that would be another part of that, but at the same time, we’ve really been so happy with the guys that are here, with what they’re doing. It would just be another piece to add to an already really strong group.”
Very Few Details Have Emerged Regarding Beckham’s Visit to Buffalo
The only photo that’s been posted on social media from OBJ’s visit came from Darian Bryan, who’s become the go-to top chef for several players on the team. Bryan shared a screenshot of the personalized menu for Beckham’s recruitment dinner on his Instagram Stories. “Welcome, Odell,” it read at the top before listing a four-course dinner which started with a fried goat cheese salad, followed by cajun season pasta, steak au poivre as the main entree, and for dessert, red velvet cake or gooey butter cake.
The next day, someone must’ve taken the three-time Pro Bowler to get the city’s most famous food. During a Twitch live stream on Sunday, Miller took a FaceTime call from Beckham, during which the receiver told the two-time Super Bowl champ, “I had the wings, the lemon pepper was good,” Beckham told Miller. “Everything was good, bro. It was a good visit,” per The Buffalo News, but the rest of the team has been radio silent.
CBS Sports analyst Josina Anderson was able to offer some vague insight on OBJ’s visit after a fan asked for an update. “Just for you: Heard from folks who were glad to run into him earlier today,” she tweeted. “I heard some players made it known to team brass they ‘want him here’ & feel it’s necessary to help their ‘stride for the remainder of the season.'”
OBJ Has Not Worked Out With Any Teams, per Report, Which Is a Major Concern
There’s one huge concern when it comes to signing Beckham, the fact that he hasn’t played since he suffered an ACL tear during last year’s Super Bowl victory with Los Angeles Rams. While Beckham’s been medically clear to return to action, we haven’t seen any videos of him practicing post-rehab, and it’s unclear if he is healthy enough to step in right away.
“He is not working out for any team,” Rapoport confirmed on December 4, which gave analysts across the league a huge pause. “There is still some question of when he is going to get on the field and how long the ramp-up is going to be for when he can help a team.”
New York Upstate reporter Ryan Talbot tweeted, “I’m starting to wonder whether OBJ will even be able to play this season. Not working out for teams is a bit odd,” while Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher questioned, “How can he be ‘cleared to play,’ but not “cleared to work out”? There are those in the OBJ camp who have slyly suggested that signing Beckham ‘is about the future,’ and that’s lovely for him,” but it’s a huge risk for any team looking to sign the veteran who hasn’t played in nearly a year.
Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Floria reported that “it’s unreasonable to expect” Beckham to play this season, and that “any positive contributions he makes in 2022 should be regarded as a bonus.”
Without practicing and no training camp, it will take time for OBJ to be in shape and ready to play, especially with a new team. ESPN‘s Jordan Ranaan tweeted, “Anyone who thinks Odell Beckham rushing back from a second torn ACL should do a prove-it deal for the final few games of this season isn’t thinking logically. He’s better off waiting until next season to return rather than do that.”
Fox Sports host Jay Glazer, however, is under the impression Beckham will be able to contribute “for the playoff push.”