Should Odell Beckham Jr. just wait to sign until after the season?
It’s December 3. Week 13 has begun. Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t played since February. He has visited one team. It’s unclear when he’ll sign.
It’s even less clear when he’ll play. And once he does play, how long until he makes a contribution?
We made the point earlier this week, in response to comments from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones regarding the importance of Beckham making an impact in 2022. It’s unreasonable to expect him to do so; any positive contributions he makes in 2022 should be regarded as a bonus.
I’m reiterating the point because, at some point, Beckham may need to just pull the plug on trying to play in 2022 and focus on 2023. It seems as if he’s using the vague promise of being a major difference-maker over the balance of the season as a way to maximize his overall contractual haul. And that’s fine. It’s smart. He’s pitting two bitter rivals against each other, in the Giants and the Cowboys.
Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets a belief that Beckham wants to sign with the Giants, citing the “lure of coming to NY, making it a home for his family and winning in this city,” along with “unfinished business.” But the question is whether the Giants, who drafted Beckham in 2014 and gave him a major second contract in 2018, will pay Beckham what he wants.
And Raanan makes the salient point that no one should expect Beckham to add much to the balance of the current campaign.
So why not wait until next season? If Beckham signs a multi-year deal with the Giants now, he assumes the risk that they may end up with a quarterback situation that he deems less than ideal. They’ve yet to extend Daniel Jones, they didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, and there are six games left for him to show that he does, or doesn’t, merit a continued stay.
If Jones is gone, who will be the starter? A veteran? A rookie? A mid-level bridge option while a rookie is groomed? Those would all seem to be very important considerations for Beckham, especially if, as Raanan notes, the deal “is more about next year than this year.”
“This year” matters for one reason. Beckham and/or his agent likely believe that he can get more next year if next year includes the possibility that he’ll be a postseason difference-maker this year. Thus, the Cowboys and Bills may drive up the bids, in the hopes that the Giants will follow.
Of the three current finalists, the Giants should find the least motivation in Beckham making a difference in the 2022 postseason. Unless they turn things around starting tomorrow, when they are home underdogs against a hot Commanders team, the Giants may be sitting at home and watching, when the playoffs begin.
Beckham needs to ask himself whether it makes the most sense to sit at home and watch the rest of the season, with his effort to find a new team deferred until the dust settles on 2022 and coaching changes and maybe even quarterback movement has happened for 2023.
Once he sees what team are, or aren’t, willing to commit to him in 2023 in order to get him for the balance of 2022, that’s possibly what he’ll decide to do.