Giants’ CEO Reveals Stance on Odell Beckham Jr. Reunion

Odell Beckham Jr. remains a free agent, but his chances of returning to the New York Giants haven’t gone away. Not according to franchise president, CEO and co-owner John Mara.

Speaking at the annual NFL owners meeting on Monday, March 27, Mara said the “Giants haven’t closed the door on Odell Beckham Jr. Says he’s in favor of signing him back if Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll can make it work,” per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News:

John Mara says Giants haven’t closed the door on Odell Beckham Jr. Says he’s in favor of signing him back if Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll can make it work

— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) March 27, 2023

It’s a major and positive update about a scenario that never seems to disappear for long. The Giants drafted OBJ 12th overall in 2014, when he promptly became NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year to start a tenure also highlighted by four 1,000-yard seasons out of five.

Beckham has been well-travelled since, having stints with the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams, winning Super Bowl LVI with the latter. He’s now bidding to make a comeback from tearing his ACL for the second time in his career.

When healthy, Beckham is still a premier receiver, but his talents also come with a price tag the Giants are unlikely to be able to afford. There’s also the not-so small matter of general manager Joe Schoen already having made several moves to improve the team’s pass-catchers, including signing Parris Campbell in free agency and bringing back Darius Slayton.

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Those moves mean the Giants can afford to save their money and avoid a bidding war likely to involve local rivals the New York Jets.

Odell Beckham Jr. Drawing a Crowded Market

The Jets haven’t been shy about talking up their interest in Beckham. Schoen’s counterpart Joe Douglas revealed “productive conversations” have already taken place between the AFC East franchise and OBJ’s agent, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo:

Douglas says a visit to the #Jets Odell Beckham is possible but not on the calendar as of yet. Confirms he’s “had productive conversations with Odell’s agent Zeke Sandhu.” Douglas says they feel good about their WR room but Beckham is an “opportunity to add a unique player.”

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 27, 2023

Beckham also received an endorsement from Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid. The two-time Super Bowl winner told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche (h/t Digital Content Producer Christian Gonzales): “Odell is a good football player. Yeah, he does a nice job. So, we’ll see how all that goes.”

It would be tempting for the Giants to beat the Jets and Chiefs to the punch. Not least because Beckham is still effective at beating coverage vertically and in the red zone.

He tallied seven touchdown catches after a mid-season trade to the Rams in 2021. Beckham’s final score came against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl, before injury laid him low.

Beckham can still go, but the Giants no longer have a burning need for veteran help at receiver.

Odell Beckham Jr. Reunion a Temptation Giants Equipped to Resist

The need for more dynamic targets was obvious after the Giants produced an NFL-low 28 completions of 20-plus yards last season. Schoen got to work and his efforts yielded the return of three familiar faces, a trade for a Pro-Bowl talent and the signing of a free agent already hailed for his potential as a playmaker.

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Slayton headlines the returning trio as a legitimate deep threat, although 6’3″ Isaiah Hodgins will also provide quarterback Daniel Jones with another big target on the outside. Finally, Sterling Shepard will be versatile from the slot, provided the 30-year-old can finally stay healthy.

Keeping the best of what they’ve got is a positive for the Giants, but relying on incumbents from a pedestrian passing attack would surely be a recipe for more of the same. Fortunately, Schoen ensured defenses will have a new threat to cope with when he dealt a third-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for tight end Darren Waller.

A two-time 1100-yard receiver, Waller averaged a career-high 13.9 yards per reception last season, including this 24-yard catch and run against the Chiefs in Week 18:

Stidham 🎯

📺: #KCvsLV on ESPN/ABC
📱: Stream on NFL+

— NFL (@NFL) January 7, 2023

Waller will stretch defenses between the numbers and draw coverage away from fellow newcomer Campbell. The latter has been described as “electric with the ball in his hands” by an unnamed analyst speaking to Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team.

There’s now enough weaponry around Jones for the Giants not to have to part with any of the $4,171,682 projects Schoen has left under the salary cap. Beckham has already made it clear he won’t accept $4 million per year, so the Giants would need to get creative and ruthless to make room for their former player.

Better to revisit the receiver position again during this year’s draft.

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