Giants, Odell Beckham Jr. reunion doesn't have to make sense to work for both sides
It doesn’t make sense. Not really.
The Giants simply are not Odell Beckham Jr.’s best option this year — not by a long shot. The Cowboys (Dak Prescott), Bills (Josh Allen) and Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) all have better quarterback situations. The three also have far better chances of reaching the Super Bowl. Both the Cowboys and Chiefs have the ability to pay Beckham more this year.
It’s so hard to come to grips with a potential reality where Beckham chooses the Giants over those alternatives because it sounds so much like a fairytale. Even those who view life through the bluest of lenses can admit to that.
But you know what? Who cares?
Because the first visit on Beckham’s late-season, free-agent tour is to the first place he called home. And the Giants should do whatever it takes to ensure it’s his last stop, too.
Expectations should be tempered some. Not just about the possibility Beckham comes home, but the level of player the Giants would be signing. The Beckham Dave Gettleman shipped to Cleveland before the 2019 season is long gone. He’s now on the wrong end of 30. He’s dealt with major injuries. He hasn’t had 80-plus catches since 2016. He hasn’t had 1,050-plus yards since 2018. He’s never done better than the 13 touchdowns he scored his second year in the league (2015).
But absolutely none of that should deter the Giants from doing what they can to bring Beckham back. As Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll have said on multiple occasions: They will explore any opportunity to improve this team. There’s no denying Beckham would do just that.
This Giants roster isn’t without its issues. Among the most glaring is at receiver. Things certainly looked OK there when the year began. Most expected a bounce-back from Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney was headed into Year 2, Sterling Shepard was back and Schoen drafted Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round.
Golladay is the only one of that group who will play against Washington — and most associated with the team wish that wasn’t the case. Toney is now in Kansas City. Robinson and Shepard are both on injured reserve.
The Giants are left with Darius Slayton (dealing with an illness), Richie James (dealing with a knee issue) and Isaiah Hodgins.
Beckham, even as a rusty version of the man who helped the Los Angeles Rams win a Super Bowl a year ago, would be a massive boost to this offense. There’s going to be an acclimation period as Beckham works himself into football shape and familiarizes himself with Mike Kafka’s playbook, sure. But he’s still an experienced route runner who knows how to work himself open. He still has some of the best hands in the league. He still has enough speed to separate himself against defenders.
The Giants aren’t looking for 2016 Beckham in 2022. They’re just looking for a wideout who can help them. Beckham can and will.
Among the most challenging aspects the Giants will need to work past has nothing to do with perception or medical history. It’s financial.
The Giants, according to OverTheCap.com, have just over $2.5 million in salary cap space. New York must get creative with the structure. Beckham will surely be looking for a two-year deal that promises a payday in 2023. The Giants can do that. They will begin the league year with just under $60 million in spending money. A juicy guaranteed roster bonus, paid out on the third day of the 2023 league year, along with a largely-guaranteed 2023 base salary, should allow the Giants to get Beckham on the roster while remaining under the cap.
The Giants have endured one of the darkest stretches in franchise history in recent years. This team, once storied and proud, are behind just the Jets (25), Lions (24) and Jaguars (22) for fewest wins (27) since Dec. 1, 2017. The stench of failure is an embarrassment to not only this fan base, but owner John Mara.
It seemed New York’s downfall truly began when Gettleman sent Beckham off to Cleveland. Bringing him home might just be the exorcism of this horrific stretch.
So who cares if it doesn’t make perfect sense or there are better options?
If Beckham truly wants the Giants, then the Giants should do whatever it takes to get him back in blue.