NFL teams are exploring the idea of acquiring 30-year-old free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with the postseason approaching. Beckham, who tore his ACL in the Rams’ Super Bowl win nearly 10 months ago, has visited the Giants, Cowboys, and Bills.
Big Blue just being in the mix has obviously enamored fans. The possibility of Beckham, who took Gotham by storm less than a decade ago, returning to MetLife Stadium? With a potential playoff appearance on the line?
Yes, it’s something that seems too good to be true. And it is … at least right now.
If there’s going to be a Giants-Beckham reunion, it wouldn’t make sense until 2023.
Where do the Giants and Cowboys currently stand? If Beckham is going to return this season and be part of another playoff run, it’s clear the 9-3 Cowboys are better suitors than the Giants.
Dallas fields the better quarterback and overall offense, which is 11th in yardage and tied for third in scoring.
Meanwhile, the 7-4-1 Giants sport an offense that’s only 22nd in yards and tied for 21st in points. While they would be the NFC Playoffs’ six seed if the season ended today, they haven’t won a game since Nov. 13 and have an uphill battle the rest of the way. With injuries throughout the roster, the Giants must face the Eagles (twice), Commanders, and Vikings before the regular season concludes.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, have a remaining schedule that’s favorable for a playoff run. Their upcoming opponents include the Texans, Jaguars, and Titans, who just lost by 25 to Philly.
From an on-field standpoint, the Cowboys are currently the much better situation for Beckham.
But the lingering concern is that ACL tear recovery, which brings us to our next point.
Beckham’s health. Beckham’s injury was only in February. It has become clear he’s not yet fully healthy. And he might not be all that close.
Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons on Wednesday claimed Beckham told him he could be ready in “five weeks.” Five weeks from Wednesday is Jan. 11, the Wednesday leading up to the Wild Card playoff round.
Prior to that, on Tuesday, a report from ESPN’s Ed Werder stated the Cowboys are concerned Beckham won’t be ready until mid-January. This comes following the receiver’s physical. And you would then have to account for the fact he’d still be returning from a second ACL tear, so ramp-up and acclimation periods would be necessary.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones additionally said in a Tuesday interview with Dallas’ 105.3 The Fan there’s no timeline on when the team could sign Beckham. While Jones’ comments might be smoke and mirrors, it lines up with the organization’s reported concerns regarding Beckham’s health.
Thus, Beckham might only be ready for the NFC Divisional Round, NFC Championship, and Super Bowl if that. And the Cowboys would still need to reach that point to even reap the benefits of his on-field presence during this season.
So as it stands now, there lies the possibility Beckham may not be an effective player until 2023 anyway. This could lead to teams passing on his services, and in that event, Beckham would enter the 2023 free agency period as arguably the top available wide receiver. When teams would have a clearer idea of his health and possible role.
This is where the Giants come in.
2023 reunion? The Giants have already won more games this season than most thought they would.
Therefore, they’re not expected to be in a position to draft a replacement for Daniel Jones. And since this team is still in a rebuild, it’s not likely general manager Joe Schoen would give away picks to trade up for a rookie quarterback.
While they could part ways with Jones and sign a veteran bridge option, the market isn’t glaring. Jimmy Garoppolo just got hurt again, Tom Brady might retire, and Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater are backups.
The Giants could find themselves in a position where they’re bringing Jones back on an extension. And if that occurs, they’ll need to heavily upgrade the receiver room.
Kenny Golladay is likely on his way out along with his disastrous $72 million contract. Sterling Shepard, who tore his ACL in Week 3, is possibly departing as well. Darius Slayton has an expiring rookie contract while Kadarius Toney is now in Kansas City.
During an offseason when the team will actually have money to spend (a projected $59 million per Over The Cap), the Giants should absolutely be in on Beckham if he’s still available. While Beckham’s camp could use the weak receiver market – Nelson Agholor, D.J. Chark, and Allen Lazard headline the class – as leverage, the Giants should have the space to land a fair deal with Beckham. A contract that’s 2-3 years, but one they can get out of after two (if need be).
The Giants could then use their first-round pick to draft another receiver for Jones and the offense. Speedy Tennessee wideout Jalin Hyatt could be an option (depending on when the Giants pick). The same goes for USC’s Jordan Addison.
Right now, Beckham to the Giants doesn’t make much sense on a number of levels. But in about a few months, when the new league year commences, a reunion with Beckham could be the start of a wide receiver rebrand in East Rutherford, which is what the Giants have needed for some time.