Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has concluded his free agency tour after visiting with the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys. While the three-time Pro Bowler was expected to make his final decision by mid-week, red flags concerning his health seem to have delayed things.
While Beckham was still in Dallas on Monday, December 6, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that the Cowboys have serious “concerns” that the 30-year-old’s recovery from a “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.”
The timing of Werder’s report was suspicious for several analysts tracking the Beckham sweepstakes. WKBW‘s Matthew Bové tweeted, “This is just my opinion and I could absolutely be wrong, but the more reports I see about injury concerns for OBJ, the more I think someone in Dallas is leaking info because they don’t think they’re going to get him.”
The Bills conducted their own physical while Beckham was in Buffalo, so they can make a decision on his ability to play without considering the Cowboys’ report. Several days after Beckham’s tour of Orchard Park, Bills head coach finally spoke out about his visit during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.
McDermott noted that this was the first time he met Beckham in person. “I think he enjoyed his time around our building, and around a few of our players as well,” McDermott said. “We have a lot of respect for what he’s been able to accomplish at this point in his career.”
Eisen asked McDermott about the elphant in the room regarding Beckham’s free agency, mentioning how Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was hesitant to sign a player coming off knee surgery, especially since he didn’t work out with the team. McDermott confirmed that Beckham didn’t work out with the Bills either.
“No, we didn’t do that,” he said. “We didn’t feel like it was necessary. We feel like we got a pretty good feel for where he is in terms of his rehab process.” As for whether McDermott feels any hesitancy about taking a risk on an injured veteran who hasn’t played in nearly a year, “There’s always a little bit of a projection, right? But that’s where you put your faith and trust in the doctors, and then individually in the player. He’s come back from significant injuries, so once we get that far, I’ll put my faith and trust in the medical team.”
McDermott, however, wouldn’t comment on whether Beckham asked for a multi-year deal or if he’d be able to contribute this season. “We’re just going to take it one step at a time here,” he answered.
Beckham’s desire for a long-term deal came under major scrutiny following his appearance on Thursday Night Football. He said, “I don’t see the point” in playing during the regular season, a statement many NFL reporters viewed as a front for the delay in his decision-making process.
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.”
Bills Offensive Coordinator Spoke out About Beckham’s Visit to Buffalo
Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was the first coach to make a public comment about Beckham’s visit last week.
“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.”
Allen Said ‘We’d Love’ to Have Beckham in Buffalo
While Bills quarterback Josh Allen remained coy about OBJ coming to Buffalo all season, he 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.
During an appearance on Pat McAfee’s show on Thursday, he offered details about the four-course recruitment dinner he hosted at his house, 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.”