The free agency of Odell Beckham Jr. has become a major story in the past week, as he was medically cleared to play, but the veteran wideout isn't going to rush back.
"He was in fact cleared medically (this week)," NFL reporter Jay Glazer said on Fox Sunday morning. "So teams wanted to bring him in this coming week. Odell wants to hold off, wants to take about two weeks to get himself back into football shape. Look for him to try and sign, perhaps, right after Thanksgiving."
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That followed a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday that noted Beckham "would like to whittle down his current list of potential teams—which includes the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers—as soon as possible and have a decision by the end of this month."
Schefter added that both the Los Angeles Rams (3-5) and Green Bay Packers (3-6) were considerations for Beckham but their current freefall out of playoff contention may take both out of the running, with the star wideout seeking to play for a contender.
It remains to be seen what type of deal Beckham receives as a free agent. On one hand, his talent is undeniable, and his turn with the Rams last year was a reminder of that, as he caught 21 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns in four playoff games, including a score in the Super Bowl before he tore his ACL.
On the other hand, he's a 30-year-old coming off of a torn ACL who had long stretches of unproductively during his time with the Cleveland Browns before he ended up in Los Angeles.
Beckham won't come cheap. As Schefter reported, "league sources are predicting his eventual compensation package could be similar on a prorated basis to some of the free agent deals signed last offseason by fellow wide receivers such as Chris Godwin and Mike Williams, each of whom makes an average of $20 million per year."
Schefter added that Beckham is expected to seek a multiyear deal. What Beckham wants compared to what teams can afford or will be willing to pay, however, will be a fascinating subplot.
"A lot of this talk is premature," a team executive told Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. "It builds up anticipation of signing and it's creating the illusion of a market."
Perhaps. But there are enough contending teams that could benefit from another weapon in the passing game—especially one of Beckham's ilk—that it isn't hard to imagine the illusion becoming reality.