We don’t know what Odell Beckham’s plans are for Thanksgiving or for his return to the NFL. But if players from two NFC East rivals are to be believed, Beckham could have a keen interest in Thursday’s middlegame.
The teams set to play in this one – New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys – are among those still trying to sign free agent Beckham, who has spent the year recovering from the cruciate ligament tear he suffered in the Super Bowl LVI suffered as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
Whether they are the top two contenders for Beckham’s services is another discussion. But both Cowboys and Giants players are acting like their team is likely to land it, and they’re treating their upcoming showdown as a Beckham Bowl.
“I don’t think it would hurt!” The Giants’ injured receiver Sterling Shepard told the New York Daily News of OBJ’s possible return to New York.
Sterling and Beckham were teammates with the Giants from 2016 to 2018. They talk “every day,” Shepard said, adding that Beckham would “love to” join the Giants, though adding that he and Beckham don’t talk about his pending decision “too much.”
Still, Shepard believes Thursday is important — for the Giants and for their chances of bringing Beckham home.
“To be honest, I don’t think it would hurt,” Shepard said. “We would make a pretty big win, a big one for us. It definitely wouldn’t hurt. I can say it.”
The problem? The Cowboys speak confidently like they might as well land OBJ.
“He knows how badly I want him here and a lot of these guys in this dressing room that I’ve seen have put themselves forward in different ways to make sure he understands this is a team he can help ‘ said Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott. “And we want him to come to the rescue.”
But how does Beckham feel? Prescott was asked.
“Mutual, honest, mutual,” he said.
Recruitment doesn’t seem to be just a varsity sport thing this time of year.
“Right now, I’m thinking who’s better at recruiting,” Prescott said. “And, yeah, I don’t necessarily know what he’s looking for when it comes to numbers and long-term and all that. But I know we want him here and I hope everything works out.”
According to NFL Network insiders Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, Beckham is expected to visit the Giants and Cowboys as he prepares to sign. Other teams mentioned as potential landing spots include the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, and Kansas City Chiefs. Perhaps Thursday’s game winner will have an advantage if Beckham eventually makes it to their city.