From time to time, online chatter emerges regarding the football future of receiver Odell Beckham Jr. With 2023 free agency less than three weeks away, there’s something important to keep in mind when it comes to OBJ.
He can currently sign with any team, at any time.
Beckham became a free agent last March. He continues to be a free agent. He doesn’t have to wait.
He conducted a three-team tour during the regular season, at a time when it seemed that he’d possibly be able to play in the postseason. He declined to work out. It eventually became clear he wouldn’t be ready to go, which kept teams from wanting to sign him.
They can now. Whether it’s the Cowboys, Giants, or Bills (the teams with which he visited) or anyone else, Beckham is free to go wherever he wants.
It’s unclear whether anyone is currently pursuing him. With Beckham reportedly hoping for $20 million per year, and given that he’s 30 years old and hasn’t played in more than a year, it’s hard to imagine anyone making a significant financial commitment without knowing he will be the guy he was before his latest ACL tear.
He most likely needs to play and play well in order to get high-end money. At best, he’ll get a contract that gives him fair compensation for 2023, along with incentives based on playing time, etc. and a balloon payment in 2024.
If that’s the case, he’s better off signing a one-year deal and doing it all again next year, if/when he re-establishes himself.
Unfortunately for Beckham, he was on the brink of potentially breaking the bank a year ago. He made significant contributions to the Rams in the postseason, and he was on track to be the MVP before suffering the non-contact knee injury.
It sucks and it seems unfair, but no one will pay him for what he once did. They’ll pay him for what they think he’ll do. And at this point no one really knows what he can do.
It will be very interesting to see how things play out. Once free agency officially opens, plenty of teams start to burn through their budgets. The longer it takes for Beckham to do a deal, the less likely he’ll get the one he wants – at least until he proves he can still play at a high level.