After months of speculation about where Odell Beckham Jr. will play this season, it turns out the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is leaning toward not signing with a team until the offseason.
Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the belief among several NFL teams is that Beckham will sit out the entire 2022 season and sign with a team at the start of free agency in March.
One team executive told Fowler that Beckham will "be the prize" among free-agent receivers.
Once the Dallas Cowboys signed T.Y. Hilton on Monday, it seemed to indicate Beckham's recovery from a torn ACL might not have him ready to play this season.
There was a very public flirtation going on between Beckham and the Cowboys for several weeks prior to the Hilton signing.
"We've got a quarterback could really make some music with him," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Dec. 5. "I think we've got an offensive line that would give the quarterback time to make some music with him."
Beckham sat courtside with Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs at a Phoenix Suns-Dallas Mavericks game on Dec. 5.
One day after Beckham's visit with the team, ESPN's Ed Werder reported the Cowboys had concerns after he took a physical that recovery from a torn ACL has not progressed enough to ensure he would be able to play before mid-January.
"There is a possibility that signing Beckham, who closed out his two-day visit with the Cowboys on Tuesday, would have no benefit until the 2023 season, the source added," suggested by Werder.
During a Dec. 8 appearance on The Shop, Beckham said he doesn't "see the point" in trying to play in the regular season this year.
Beckham tore his ACL in the second quarter of Super Bowl 56 while playing for the Los Angeles Rams.
Studies have shown typical recovery time from that injury for NFL players is right around 50 weeks. Beckham wouldn't hit that mark until the last week in January.
Given where teams are at this point in the season and his desire for a multiyear contract, it's hard to see where Beckham is a good fit until there is more clarity on his ability to return to the field.
If Beckham waits until free agency, presumably more teams will be able to make him an offer because they will have more cap space available than they do right now.