Odell Beckham has been making the rounds, visiting the Giants, Bills and Cowboys, among other stops on his free-agent tour. The 30-year-old receiver, coming off a torn ACL suffered in last year’s Super Bowl, was expected to have a home by now, though, for reasons still unclear, Beckham has yet to sign.
Beckham likely didn’t do himself any favors by declining to work out during his recent trip to Dallas (where he was spotted sitting courtside with Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and others at the Mavs game Monday night), fueling speculation he might not be game-ready until the playoffs, which are a month away. OBJ didn’t deny that during his appearance on Amazon’s TNF simulcast hosted by Maverick Carter, suggesting that, at this point, he’d prefer to wait for the playoffs than return for what little remains of the 2022 regular season.
“I haven’t made a decision,” said Beckham, who upon joining the Rams late last season, impressed with seven touchdowns in only 12 games, and was having a phenomenal Super Bowl before his knee gave out in the second quarter. “I would like to be in a stable environment, get up 6 AM, leave at 6 PM for four weeks, and then let’s talk about it.”
For all his talent, Beckham, throughout his career, has frequently rubbed teammates and coaches the wrong way, developing a reputation for being high-maintenance and a locker-room cancer. DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t mince words when asked about the situation earlier this week, suggesting the media spectacle gathering around OBJ could be a distraction for the Cowboys amid their postseason push.
“I’m trying to reach a Super Bowl. So, if he can come and help us with that, then yes, I’ll accept him,” said the veteran pass-rusher. “But if we’re just going to do the circus? No [thanks].”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, however, doesn't necessarily agree with Lawrence.
"I don't look at it that way," Jones said. "The players that are listening to him understand rehab. And they understand that you can't go until you can go. I know that he's got his mind wrapped around what might be a plan for the immediate future. And, of course, he's got a great future ahead of him. The question is, can he do it physically in a sound way and not push that, and at the same time help us. And that's what we're going over right now."
Teams are always in search of fresh legs, particularly this time of year with injuries taking a heavy toll. However, there isn’t much precedent for players making an immediate impact in the playoffs without playing at least a handful of regular-season games first. That’s a big ask of someone coming off major knee surgery, though Beckham doesn’t seem to be sweating it, expressing the utmost confidence he’d be able to help any team that he signs with.
“I’ve played football for a long time. I’m not saying I couldn’t step in and play the regular season, but I don’t see the point, I really don’t,” said the three-time Pro Bowler. “I would rather play when that pressure’s on. I would rather play when the lights are on.”
There is still no timeline for Beckham to make a decision, but he is still in contact with his potential suitors.
And despite Beckham's apparent misgivings about playing in the regular season, that list still Includies the Cowboys.
"Yes, we're still in contact. Yes. Yes. Yes," Jones said. "Is there a timeline? Probably the fact that time is ticking in terms of getting in here and really initiating the heavy work in the rehab in order to get there for the playoffs if it's going to happen."