Odell Beckham Jr. made an appearance on Amazon’s “The Shop” alternate stream during Thursday Night Football. And he managed to pull off an impressive feat by making everything surrounding his free agency that much more ridiculous.
Let’s start with the most basic, yet most important, question hovering over this entire sideshow: Is Beckham ready to play? And if he is not, when will he be ready to play?
I would like to be in a stable environment, get up at 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 that I couldn’t step in and play regular season, but I don’t see the point. I really don’t. I would rather play when that pressure is on, I would rather plan when those lights are on. Like, I went through the whole playoffs and after having my first bad playoff experience, all I was ready for was to clear that off my name.
There is a reason why Beckham agreed to appear on the stream: He knew no one would challenge him on his nonsense, even gently. Which is good news for him, because this was mind-boggling.
Beckham does not see the point? He has made free agency visits to three teams — the Bills, Cowboys and Giants.
The Bills are fighting for the top seed in the AFC playoffs and only have a one-game lead in the AFC East with losses to the contending Dolphins and Jets on their ledger already. The Cowboys could conceivably steal the NFC East and the No. 1 seed from the Eagles down the stretch given a favorable remaining schedule. And the Giants are barely holding on in the NFC wild card race and are looking for any boost they can get. But sure, Odell, there is no point.
Or … is this just a cheap excuse to explain away what has become quite obvious as this charade has dragged: Beckham is not ready to play. And he and his representatives were trying to find a way to talk their way into a multi-year deal before he is — a ploy that appears to have failed.
It has been over a month since Beckham camp first got word out he was about to be cleared. Yet he won’t work out for teams. He has not discussed contract terms with anyone. There have been reports the Cowboys have concerns about his physical. He supposedly told Micah Parsons he is still over a month away. And now this.
In other notes … Beckham’s “first bad playoff experience” was completely of his own creation. He’s the guy who jetted off to Miami for the infamous boat trip. He’s the guy who wilted under the pressure and laid an egg in the wild card game against the Packers — a game where Eli Manning was at his best for perhaps the final time — and he’s the guy who threw a temper-tantrum and put a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field.
Speaking of the Giants, Beckham continued to pander to the local fans and media.
I’ll say this, but it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just words, right? But I don’t feel like Saquon Barkley and I got to do what we were supposed to do. That’s all I got to say … And [Sterling Shepard] too. These are my brothers and my family, there’s something that feels special. It’s something that feels special. That’s all I’m going to say.
Beckham does realize his behavior got himself traded out of town, right? You can only blame former general manager Dave Gettleman so much. The Giants dumped Beckham a year after giving him a big contract for a reason. If he feels he has unfinished business, he has only himself to blame. And it is why the Giants should stay the heck away.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]