Odell Beckham Jr. is about to get serious in his bid to return to the NFL, and the New York Giants may have a front row seat when the three-time Pro-Bowl wide receiver puts on a private workout for interested teams on Friday, March 10.
The workout will take place in Arizona, where ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported the Giants are “expected to attend.”
Showing interest in Beckham is only natural for the Giants since the veteran got his pro career started in spectacular fashion at MetLife Stadium in 2014. OBJ was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, but now he’s 30 and aiming to bounce back from tearing his ACL a second time.
If he gets healthy, Beckham’s still exactly the kind of dynamic pass-catcher the Giants need to bolster a lacklustre bunch of receivers. Exploiting any desire Beckham might feel for a second spell with Big Blue will be crucial in helping the Giants fend off competition for the Super Bowl champion in free agency.
OBJ Will Have a Strong Market in Free Agency
Assuming his workout goes well, OBJ won’t be lacking for suitors on the veteran market. The Giants will need to muscle their way to the front of the queue, especially if NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys are in the mix.
Both teams were among those who ended up visiting with Beckham back in December, per Raanan’s colleague Adam Schefter:
Ultimately, no deal was struck with any franchise, leaving Beckham to bide his time and prepare to go again this offseason. It was more than understandable for interested parties to have some reservations about Beckham’s ability to get back onto the field and stay healthy.
He hasn’t played a down since injuring his knee while helping the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. The prolonged absence only added to an already lengthy injury record for a player who hadn’t started 16 games in a season since 2016.
Still, Beckham remains an enticing option for any team because of his impressive physical skills and prolific track record. He proved both after being traded to the Rams by the Cleveland Browns midway through the 2021 season.
Beckham turned 16 of his 27 receptions during the regular season into touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. He also didn’t drop a single pass.
Things were even better in the playoffs, when Beckham averaged 10.5 yards after catch in four games. A touchdown grab in the Super Bowl showed Beckham was back to his best, before misfortune struck.
He’ll no longer command top dollar, but the Giants can still use Beckham’s talents. The problem is their way in with the player isn’t as strong as it was back in December.
Giants Shorter On Odell Beckham Jr. Advocates
Things appeared to be falling just right for the Giants to sign Beckham at the end of 2022, thanks largely to his ties with running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
OBJ is close friends with both and neither was shy about pitching their buddy on returning to the Giants. Barkley started trying to ward off interest from the Cowboys as early as November, per the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard: “He knows how I feel about him, how we feel about him. Personally I think it would be a great story to come back.”
Shepard was even more forthright almost a month later, when he told reporters he’d spoken with Beckham and urged him coming back to the Giants would be “a special thing” and “like old times.”
Things have changed since, with Shepard being released, while Barkley is set to play on the franchise tag, a situation not every player welcomes. Barkley was tagged after the Giants agreed a four-year contract worth $160 million with quarterback Daniel Jones.
The investment needs to be protected, and the best way to do it will be equipping Jones with a marquee receiver. Beckham still fits the bill, provided he’s back to full speed.