Even if Odell Beckham Jr. signs with a new team within the next few days, it could still be some time before the free-agent wide receiver is back on the field.
The Dallas Morning News' David Moore reported Tuesday that Beckham's rehab from a torn ACL may "extend into the postseason." Moore added that if the Dallas Cowboys ultimately sign the 30-year-old, "it will be with the understanding that the veteran receiver is unlikely to play before the regular season is done."
ESPN's Ed Werder and Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News echoed Moore's reporting:
Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN
Source: The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> have concerns after Odell Beckham Jr.’s physical that his recovery from torn left ACL in Super Bowl has not progressed enough to ensure he would play before mid-January and possibility exists signing him would have no benefit until 2023 season.
Fresh off visiting with Beckham on Monday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan's Shan & RJ the team was well aware of the risk presented by the move. He explained the inability to see the three-time Pro Bowler work out left him "not confident, at all," but clarified Dallas has enough information to feel good about a possible partnership:
"It's not like a draft pick coming at you, we've got a lot of history here and you take a good look at everything. Not only the obvious, and that's his performance, but also any issues regarding health. So, all of this, we've got to come in with our eyes wide open and it has to be addressed and that’s when you see if you can make a deal or not."
Beckham's free agency has certainly garnered plenty of attention, but Moore's report underlines how he may not tilt the balance of power in the NFL this year.
Even if he's back in time for the playoffs, it's fair to question how effective he'll be. Beyond having to learn a new playbook on the fly, there's always a level of rust when a player has missed nearly a full year of action.
A final decision for Beckham could be imminent. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday the unsigned pass-catcher planned to speak with his family and might pick a team by mid-week.
Fans of whatever team wins the OBJ sweepstakes are likely to celebrate, but it could be 2023 before he starts paying meaningful dividends.