EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — The New York Giants are at least open to a potential reunion with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham walked into the Giants facility last month and met with some players (including close friends Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley) and staff he knew from his previous time with the organization (2014-18). He did not meet with the general manager and coach, so it was not an official visit.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the Giants won’t have interest in signing Beckham once he’s healthy or for next season. Beckham is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in Super Bowl LVI.
“I had no idea he was in the building until he walked out of the building,” general manager Joe Schoen said Tuesday after the receiver-needy Giants didn’t make a move at the trade deadline. “Obviously he’s been a good player. He’s a guy we’d look at and talk to, when he’s healthy. I think he did his ACL in February, so I’m not sure where he’s at physically.
“But yes, any player that would upgrade the roster we will consider and talk to their representatives.”
The Giants are 6-2 heading into the bye week.
Beckham, 29, was drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of LSU. He had a record start with three straight 1,300-yard seasons to start his career. But things started to fall apart when he broke his leg in 2017.
He was traded to the Cleveland Browns before the 2019 season, months after signing a new long-term contract. But his anger at the time was mostly directed at general manager Dave Gettleman, who is no longer with the franchise.
Beckham has publicly toyed with the idea of reuniting with the Giants on social media.
“Nothing beats a family reunion!!” he tweeted last month in response to Barkley.
Wide receiver is a position where the Giants could use a boost. Shepard is out for the season, Kenny Golladay has two catches for 22 yards and has missed the last four games, and the oft-injured Kadarius Toney was traded to the Chiefs last week. Darius Slayton leads the Giants with 232 receiving yards in eight games.
Schoen said Tuesday that he hopes the Giants bring Golladay back to face the Houston Texans after their bye week. Fingers crossed for him.
Beckham showed last season with the Los Angeles Rams that he is still a top player, even though he is healthy. He had 21 catches for 288 yards in the Rams’ playoff run and seemed destined to potentially be named Super Bowl MVP before his latest injury.
That has been his problem in recent years. He needed core surgery after the 2019 season, tore his left ACL in 2020 and did it again this year.
Beckham is still nursing an injury, but the biggest obstacle for the Giants to add him this season could be money. The Giants are staunch against the salary cap and have been adamant about making only a veterans’ benefits (VSB) deal this offseason.
Beckham would probably be looking for the kind of incentive deal that can’t be done in the VSBs. The Giants would have to make an exception.
“He’s a good player as far as I’m concerned, if he’s healthy,” Schoen said. “If a player is healthy and would help us win football games, we’ll go after them if they fit what we’re looking for.”