The 7-2 Giants and 6-3 Cowboys are jockeying for playoff position, and the NFC East rivals are also competing to land the biggest fish on the free agent market. As Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is set to meet with both clubs after the Thanksgiving holiday, and there are no other known visits on OBJ’s schedule at this time.
We learned just last week that Beckham hopes to sign by the end of November, and with visits now being planned, he may be able to achieve that goal. Of course, contract talks will be of particular importance here. Beckham is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal and is looking to be paid like Chris Godwin and Mike Williams, both of whom make $20MM per season. That is a big ask for a player that has suffered two recent ACL tears, and it could be too steep for New York, which has seen last year’s Kenny Golladay contract turn into an albatross.
On the other hand, Golladay’s underperformance and injury problems are a big reason why the Giants are in the Beckham market in the first place. The team is desperate for receiving help to add another dimension to its Saquon Barkley-dominated offense and to provide quarterback Daniel Jones with a reliable pass catcher outside of Darius Slayton — who was a release/trade candidate this summer — and diminutive rookie Wan’Dale Robinson. Plus, GM Joe Schoen should have a healthy cap situation in 2023, so he could make the financials work if he is willing to make the type of bold move that would define his early tenure as the Giants’ top exec.
Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports observes that Schoen was unwilling to swing a deadline trade for Texans receiver Brandin Cooks and his $18MM guaranteed salary for 2023, which makes him skeptical that Schoen would authorize a contract for Beckham near OBJ’s reported price point (Twitter link). Indeed, Vacchiano sees the Cowboys as the more likely landing spot, especially given the public courtship that Dallas owner Jerry Jones and high-profile players like Micah Parsons have engaged in.
Recent reporting indicates that the Cowboys are, in fact, the frontrunners for the three-time Pro Bowler, and Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News suggests that Beckham’s contract is less critical than his health. Gehlken says Dallas already believes Beckham would be a good locker room fit, and that an in-person look at this reconstructed knee is the “final box to check” (Twitter link). The Cowboys, like the Giants, were unable to land an impact wideout at the deadline, and they clearly see another receiver as a major need as they gear up for a postseason push.