Let’s be honest, the only reason any reporters are writing about Odell Beckham Jr. is because of name recognition. If another receiver in his ninth season had a similar resume and was languishing unsigned while recovering from a torn ACL, nobody would care. Houston Texans’ wide receiver Brandin Cooks might as well be teamless, too, but his trade demands went unheeded, and I bet you didn’t even know he asked to be moved.
Cooks was taken in the same draft as Beckham in 2014, and though I bet a large portion of fantasy football players could guess who has more career yards and receptions, the perception of Beckham has remained as outsized as his personality.
The then-Rams’ receiver was hurt in the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, less than nine months ago, and he turns 30 in a few days. Yet he’s going to return like Adrian Peterson and help a contender make a push for the playoffs?
He just won a championship in L.A., and it doesn’t appear that he’s getting after it like LeBron James battling Father Time.
From what my sources told me — which is basically one of my buddies texting me he ran into Beckham at the Aura Club at Atlantis in the Bahamas a couple of weeks back, while he was attending a wedding, and OBJ was I guess rehabbing his dice hand — the free agent receiver hasn’t been sequestered in a gym and solely focused on getting his knee back to 100 percent.
It’d be one thing if it was a night out in the city that he resides in, but a quick trip to the Caribbean doesn’t scream, “I want my job back!” There was a report that OBJ is targeting mid-November for his return to the field — and on an unrelated note, I’m aiming to be married to Christina Hendricks by mid-January.
Former Alabama receiver and current Detroit Lions rookie Jameson Williams suffered the same injury as OBJ in the College Football Playoff final a month before the turf monster caught Beckham, and last week Dan Campbell said the 21-year-old is still a month away from seeing the field. That conservatively sets his return for Week 12, aka Thanksgiving week.
So let’s pretend the two are on the same timeline despite one player being nine years younger than the other. In theory, that would put Beckham on pace to return around Christmas, which is Week 16.
I’m not sure how Beckham would help the Giants or 49ers or Chiefs or Bills or any number of the teams that he’s been linked with, given that it takes time to implement a new wide receiver, and we have no idea how much burst he has left to be a viable deep threat that scares defenses.
Von Miller is the only teammate I’ve heard attest to the quality of OBJ’s character, and he still guarantees his former Rams teammate will be a Bill. That said, I find it near impossible to believe a guy who once proposed to a kicking net is going to be delighted as Buffalo’s, what, third or fourth option?
While I understand that everybody loves Brian Daboll, his wide receiver room has been tumultuous to put it lightly. Kenny Golladay has two catches on the season and has been squarely in the new Giant coach’s doghouse — or in the trainers’ room. Darius Slayton’s 232 yards lead all skill players. The team has three receivers with a TD catch this season on the roster, and only two of them are active.
Do you think Beckham is going to see that and be cool ceding snaps to Richie James, Wan’Dale Robinson, and David Sills? (If you do, I’ve got some Blake Griffin stock to sell you.)
San Francisco is one of the most physical and diverse squads in the league, with receivers, tight ends, and running backs asked to run, catch, and block. He’ll immediately be the answer to which one of the skill guys isn’t like the others.
Kadarius Toney is now in Kansas City, and the Chiefs got stable chemistry in place that isn’t broken. The team’s offense also is rounding into form, and anything they get out of their new toy will be house money.
Jerry Jones is dumb enough not to know when to stop tinkering, so that’s a possibility, but probably one more made-for-headlines than anything of worth on the field.
I get it. He’s popular, which is why I wrote this post. However, these stories are simply for clicks, and NFL fans wishing their GM would take a chance on OBJ like he’s going to be a meaningful contributor are delusional.
If you want to catch a glimpse of Beckham this season, you’ll have better luck in the Bahamas.