NEW YORK (BVM) – Eight years ago, Odell Beckham Jr. burst onto the scene with one of the best rookie seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history. The Giants’ first-round pick caught 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns on his way to winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year that season, making a highlight catch that NFL fans still talk about to this day.
The Catch That Broke the Internet.
Odell Beckham Jr. catches a one-handed touchdown and it is arguably one of the most iconic catches in NFL history. (via @nflthrowback)pic.twitter.com/SAchXm5uCv
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) December 22, 2019
Beckham Jr. followed up his rookie campaign with two additional Pro Bowl years before leaving the organization after the 2018 season, as the Giants traded him to the Cleveland Browns just seven months after he had signed a five-year, $90-million contract extension. Although it seemed at that time the star wide receiver would never wear the Giants blue again as his relationship with the organization soured, just four years later, a reunion seems possible.
Currently, Beckham Jr. is a free agent as he has continued to rehab from a torn ACL suffered during last year’s Super Bowl – the second ACL tear he suffered in a span of about 16 months. Following a disappointing two-and-a-half years with the Browns, the LSU product signed with the Rams following his release from Cleveland, and proved to be an important piece of their dynamic offense down the home stretch of the season. Beckham Jr. caught 44 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns to close the regular season, while adding another 21 receptions for 288 yards and two scores in the playoffs.
Odell Beckham Jr., Super Bowl Champion pic.twitter.com/X3gyniskG5
— NFL (@NFL) February 14, 2022
Now, Beckham Jr. is hoping to do the same somewhere else, and is looking to sign with a contender. This past weekend, it was reported that the star wideout will visit with both the Cowboys and Giants after the teams’ Thanksgiving Day game. The stakes are high as not only will one of these teams likely add a previously elite receiver to their roster in the near future, but whoever doesn’t add OBJ will lose him to a division rival.
Thus far, the Cowboys have seemed more aggressive in the OBJ pursuit, with owner Jerry Jones, head coach Mike McCarthy, and players on the team all unofficially recruiting him to Dallas. However, the Giants may still have an inside track at landing their former wideout, and have also expressed some interest in the past month.
Earlier this season, Beckham Jr. made an unofficial visit to New York after wide receiver and former teammate Sterling Shepard suffered a season-ending knee injury. The Giants ownership has remained the same, but a new regime with general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll could entice Beckham Jr. into a fresh start with his former team.
Going into the 2022 season, not many people mentioned the words “Giants” and “contenders” in the same sentence. However, under Daboll, the G-Men have excelled. After two close wins to start the season over Tennessee and Carolina, the Giants suffered their first loss of the year at home to Dallas, but went on to rattle off four wins in a row which included a victory over Green Bay in London, and an impressive defeat of the Ravens at home.
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/EvV2g5JlHE
— New York Giants (@Giants) October 16, 2022
Although the Giants have now lost two of their last three which includes an ugly defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions in Week 11, they remain squarely in the mix at 7-3 with divisional games on the horizon the next four weeks.
A big reason for the success has been Daboll’s offense, as he has helped Saquon Barkley regain his dominance in the backfield, and has turned Daniel Jones into a competent dual-threat quarterback. What is currently lacking from this offense, however, is a dominant pass catcher.
Going into the season, the Giants had a relatively crowded wide receiver room, but it has since gotten very thin. Kenny Golladay has been a complete bust since signing in New York, while Kadarius Toney could not stay healthy prior to being dealt to the Chiefs. Shepard was a victim of the injury bug once again, tearing his ACL in Week 3 after returning from a torn Achilles suffered last year.
The Giants had found something in recent weeks with electrifying rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, but in the Giants’ Week 11 matchup with the Lions, he too suffered a torn ACL. While they have gotten some surprise contributions from guys like Richie James Jr., David Sills V and Isaiah Hodgins, it has been veteran receiver Darius Slayton that has been the only consistent wideout for the G-Men, with 24 catches for 413 yards on the season.
Clearly, the Giants are in the market for a wide receiver, and OBJ might just be the perfect fit.
Daboll is a tremendous offensive mind, as evidenced with what he did as the offensive coordinator in Buffalo the past four seasons. In particular, he transformed Stefon Diggs into one of the game’s elite receivers during his time with the Bills, something that would figure to be enticing when Beckham Jr. considers his options.
While the Cowboys already have a true No. 1 receiver in CeeDee Lamb which would likely result in Beckham Jr. being more of a complementary player in Dallas, he would really have a chance to reclaim the alpha-receiver role with the Giants for the rest of this season, and potentially beyond should he come back looking fully healthy. The 30-year-old would also get to reunite with some former teammates such as Barkley for what truly appears to be an up-and-coming team in the NFC East.
Perhaps above all, Beckham Jr. could bring a young Giants team a Super Bowl-winning veteran presence. While the Cowboys do have a lot of experience on their roster that could lead to a deep postseason run, the Giants could use an experienced veteran to assist in what they hope could be a strong showing in the playoffs as well.
Based on some of the most recent reports from local New York media, it truly seems Beckham Jr.’s decision between the Cowboys and the G-Men could go either way.
Ian tracked down an Odell confidant
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) November 15, 2022
As a result, Beckham Jr.’s decision might lead to a roller coaster of emotions in the coming days for Giants fans. Should he soon wear a star on his helmet and join one of the franchise’s most-bitter rivals, the dislike that was ignited for OBJ a few years ago in the Big Apple will only grow stronger.
However, if he would return to the Giants, it would be one of the great reunion stories in all of sports. Beckham Jr. already had some legendary moments during his time in New York, but regaining some of his pre-injury form and leading the Giants on a playoff run after coming back home could very well take the cake.