Following the conclusion of Odell Beckham Jr.‘s free agency tour, he visited with the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys — in that order, it was reported that the 30-year-old receiver would make a final decision by mid-week, however, that time frame has now come and gone.
During an appearance on The Shop during Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football broadcast, Beckham offered some insight into his process. “I haven’t made the decision,” he said. “I would like to be in a stable environment. Get up 6 a.m., leave at 6 p.m. for four weeks and then let’s talk about it. 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.”
No one has seen Beckham play since he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Super Bowl LVI back in February, nor did he work out with any of the teams during his visits, a major red flag for teams looking for him to contribute right away. And Beckham’s latest comment about not needing to play in the regular season was called out by several analysts across the league.
Around the NFL‘s Kevin Patra wrote, “OBJ’s comments Thursday underscore that he isn’t looking for a one-off deal. Instead, he’s seeking a place to put down roots for the postseason and beyond. At this stage, no club is offering that sort of deal — otherwise, he’d be signed. Without assurances he’d even be ready to get up to speed for the postseason, the saga could continue to linger until someone blinks or the season ends.”
Pro Football Talk‘s Josh Alper also read through the lines. “Beckham visited the Bills and Giants along with the Cowboys and the lack of a deal with any of them suggests that no one is convinced that Beckham will be able to help them at any point in the regular season or playoffs. It also suggests that no one is willing to bet on the chance that Beckham can help them in order to secure his rights for the 2023 season by signing him to a multi-year deal, but we’ll see if anything changes in the coming days or weeks.”
Yahoo! Sports‘ Callie Lawson-Freeman surmised, “If not signed soon, it’s possible the wait for Beckham’s return will continue until next season.” Mirroring thoughts of fans everywhere, The Score‘s Brenden Deeg tweeted, “Odell Beckham’s ‘free-agent tour’ is getting annoying. We don’t care anymore. Just sign with a team or don’t.”
Cowboys Accused of Trying to Spoil Beckham’s Free Agency Choices
While Beckham was still in Dallas on Monday, ESPN‘s Ed Werder tweeted, “Source: The #Cowboys have concerns after Odell Beckham Jr.’s physical that his recovery from torn left ACL in Super Bowl has not progressed enough to ensure he would play before mid-January and possibility exists signing him would have no benefit until 2023 season.”
Not long after Werder’s report came out, CBS Sports analyst Josina Anderson shared a message that appeared to have come from the receiver’s camp. Anderson tweeted, “Sources close to Beckham Jr. tell me he feels able to contribute to the playoffs this season, especially after getting in with a team & acclimating consistently over several weeks.” Several analysts accused the Cowboys of putting out this report to deter his other suitors.
While the three-time Pro Bowler has been medically cleared to play, the ability to learn a new team’s playbook and create chemistry with a new quarterback takes time. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reveals on Friday that he’s “still in contact with Beckham,” per The Athletic‘s Jon Machota. “Yes. Yes. Yes. Is there a timeline? Probably the fact that time is ticking in terms of getting in here and really initiating the heavy work in rehab to get there for the playoffs if it’s gonna happen.”
The Bills conducted their own physical during Beckham’s visit which means they can make a conclusion without having to consider the Cowboys’ report. USA Today‘s Bradley Gelber tweeted, “All for the #Bills adding talent but just not sure how you can roll the dice on a high $ contract for OBJ unless it’s heavily based on incentives.”
The Bills cleared up approximately $2.25 million in cap space prior to Beckham’s visit, which should be enough to snag him for the remainder of the 2022 NFL season. Whether or not the Bills are willing to offer him a long term contract remains unkonwn.
Bills QB Josh Allen Said ‘We’d Love’ to Have Beckham in Buffalo
After months of remaining coy on his thoughts about OBJ coming to Buffalo, Bills quarterback Josh Allen started publicly campaigning for the receiver to come to Orchard Park after the receiver’s most vocal recruiter, Von Miller, underwent season-ending surgery on Tuesday.
Allen told Kyle Brandt on Wednesday, “Hopefully, we hear some good news here,” regarding Beckham’s final decision. During an appearance on Pat McAfee’s show on Thursday, he offered details about the four-course recruitment dinner the superstar quarterback hosted at his house last weekend, during which Bills general manager Brandon Beane was also present.
“I will say, it was a good time, man,” Allen said. “We got to hang out and basically just show our personalities,” noting how he’s casually bumped into Beckham over the years, but never had the chance to have a meaningful conversation. “Hopefully, he saw the bond that we have as teammates. I think he knows what it means to bring a Super Bowl to this city and this state in western New York here… Obviously, we’re hoping that he chooses us. But if not, we move on and move forward. But yes, we’d love to have him.”