The Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes are heating up. The veteran wide receiver has scheduled visits with the Giants on Thursday (Dec. 1), the Bills on Friday (Dec. 2) and the Cowboys on Monday (Dec. 4). At that time, Beckham could sign a deal with any of those teams.
Last season, Beckham was a key contributor to the Rams’ playoff success, ultimately helping them win a Super Bowl. The 30-year-old wideout had 21 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns in the postseason, including a 113-yard performance in the NFC Championship against the 49ers.
His biggest playoff moment, though, came in last year’s Super Bowl, when he caught a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter to kick off the scoring for the Rams. Unfortunately, the wideout went down just one quarter later with a torn ACL.
The ACL tear was the second for Beckham in his career, and the second over the past two years. He also tore his ACL with the Browns in 2020 in the same right knee.
Despite his recent injury history, the Cowboys have remained interested in the three-time Pro Bowler all season long. Whether it was Dak Prescott personally reaching out to Beckham or Micah Parsons exchanging jabs on Twitter with the wideout, Dallas players appear fully on board with the signing.
Even owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy have expressed their desire to get Beckham in a Cowboys uniform and sign him.
But is signing Beckham really the right move for the Cowboys to make?
Why signing Odell Beckham Jr. makes sense for Cowboys
There’s no doubt that Beckham is still a talented wide receiver and could give the Cowboys another boost and option in the passing game.
With CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup as the top two wideouts in the offense, Dallas’ third receiver option has been hard to find this season.
Noah Brown looked strong under Cooper Rush early in the season, but he has just three catches over his last three games. Brown also played a season-low 45% of the snaps on Thanksgiving against the Giants.
Jalen Tolbert has been a big disappointment in his rookie season, and James Washington has yet to make his season debut after injuring his foot during training camp.
So, adding Beckham would give Prescott another big-time option in the passing game. It could also allow Lamb to play more in the slot, where he thrived as a rookie. Lamb played 84.7% of the time in the slot as a rookie and hauled in just under 1,000 yards.
Aside from the outside presence that Beckham will bring to the Cowboys’ offense, his veteran experience can really be an asset for the team come playoff time. He understands what it takes to win a Super Bowl after spending last season with the Rams.
Having Lamb, Gallup, Beckham and Dalton Schultz as options for Prescott, mixed with Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott, will create an offense that many teams will have a hard time matching up against.
Why signing Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t make sense for Cowboys
Of course, signing Beckham gives an added boost to an offense that has already scored 28-plus points over their last four games. But signing him will also come at a cost.
A veteran wide receiver that has over 7,300 career yards and looked sharp the last time we saw him on a field won’t come at a cheap price.
Just this past offseason, the Cowboys traded Amari Cooper to the Browns, and a large reason for that move was due to the money situation. Cooper was taking over $20 million of Dallas’ cap space for the season, and that number was set to increase next year.
Now, if Beckham and Dallas could come to an agreement on a one-year deal, that would give the Cowboys an added bonus for their Super Bowl run this year and able to save money for next year.
For this season, the 30-year wideout could be paid in the ball park of $5 million, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
"“Beckham’s contract “could be similar on a prorated basis” to recent wide receiver deals signed by Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Mike Williams of the Los Angeles Chargers.”"
Both Godwin and Williams received three-year, $60 million deals ($20 million annually) in the offseason. With Beckham only available for the last quarter of the season, the asking price of $5 million doesn’t seem too crazy.
It’s also money that the Cowboys have remaining in their 2022 cap space. According to Spotrac, Dallas has $7.29 million remaining in cap space.
The problem comes from the possibility of Beckham wanting a multi-year deal, which is something that the Cowboys are open to. However, that would draw more cap space troubles into next season, in an offseason where Pollard and Schultz are both free agents. With so much uncertainty attached to his 2022 comeback, why wouldn’t a talent like Beckham also demand guarantees for 2023, considering this could escalate into a bidding war?
So, going after Beckham and paying him in the Gallup pay range ($12.5 million per year), which is want he wanted this past offseason, wouldn’t help their cap situation at all.
If the Cowboys wanted to have three competent wide receivers in their offense, letting go of Cooper might have been a mistake. Yes, they might save a couple million dollars with Beckham, but he does come at a high risk for injury.
There’s no doubt, though, that the Cowboys are all in for this season. They currently have an 8-3 record and now play three consecutive games against teams under .500 (Colts, Texans, Jaguars).
Beckham will bring more weaponry to the Dallas offense and make them even scarier on offense than they already are. But paying him a multi-year deal, when the Cowboys have just a little over $1 million in cap space next year (Spotrac), might not make the most sense.
At the end of the day, the Cowboys will do all it takes to win a Super Bowl. If they believe Beckham gets them over the top, they’ll try their hardest to sign the vet.