While Buffalo Bills superstar Von Miller has been publicly campaigning for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to join him in Buffalo since before the 2022 NFL season started, he’s been abnormally quiet since the three-time Prowler made his free agency visit this weekend.
During a Twitch live stream, 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.'”
Per the NFL’s daily transaction wire, Beckham’s official team visit took place on Saturday, December 3, but the 30-year-old receiver arrived in Buffalo on Friday night in time for a special recruitment dinner.
The only photo that’s been posted on social media from OBJ’s visit came from Darian Bryan, who’s based in Buffalo, and has 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.
Based on photos shared on Bryan’s Instagram Stories, it appears the Beckham dinner was an intimate occasion for maybe up to twelve people. While Miller said on his podcast earlier this 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, will meet with the Dallas Cowboys. NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported that Beckham will make his final decision by “mid-week.”
After the Bills (9-3) defeated the New England Patriots 28-10 on Thursday Night Football, the team’s third consecutive win, there was some fun discussion about Beckham’s pending visit. When quarterback Josh Allen was asked about his role in the recruitment process, “We’ll see,” he said with a smirk.
Diggs, who told Heavy Sports months ago that he would love to have Beckham as a teammate, continued to stump for the receiver. “I’mma try my hardest,” Diggs said of getting Beckham to Buffalo. “He’s one hell of a player,” while noting the Bills’ offense can never have too many weapons.
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.
In the thick of Beckham sweepstakes, “He is not working out for any team,” Rapoport confirmed on Sunday, December 4, which has given 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.”
The Bills Freed Up Cap Space Just Before Beckham’s Scheduled Visit
The Bills need help at wide receiver with Jamison Crowder, Marquez Stevenson, and Jake Kumerow on IR, and ahead of Beckham’s trip to Orchard Park, Buffalo made a big move that appears to put the team in a position to sign him right away.
WGR 550‘s Sal Capaccio tweeted on Wednesday, November 30, “NFL source tells me the Bills restructured the contract of CB Tre’Davious White to now create approximately 2.5M of cap space. They were down to a league-low $332K before this move due to the toll of injury replacement costs and the acquisition of Nyheim Hines.”
While Capaccio also noted, “This move does not mean they are or aren’t signing Odell Beckham. My understanding is it was going to happen regardless of that situation due to their lack of cap space,” it’s hard to ignore the timing of White’s restructured contract.
In early November, Beane said the door was still open to adding Beckham but noted they had to figure things out money-wise. “OBJ is a heck of a talent,” Beane said on November 2, 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.”