Don’t expect the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. to reunite

New York Giants, Odell Beckham Jr.
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) reacts during the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This week, former New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has made headlines. Beckham was released by the Browns, and thanks to his tough to accommodate contract, went unclaimed on the waiver wire. Beckham is now free to sign for any team, but don’t expect that team to be the Giants.

Joe Judge flat out warned the press and fans not to expect anything from the team in this regard, and the Giants acted accordingly. The deadline for a team to claim Beckham passed, and the Giants held firm and declined to make a move.

It doesn’t look like they’ll make a move now that Beckham’s contract has been terminated, ether.

There’s reasons why a move like this would appeal to fans, of course. The Giants have a different coaching staff than the one they had in Beckham’s final seasons, and the offense is no longer working around an aging Eli Manning who was in his final season. Arguably, they have a better environment for Beckham to succeed now.

The Giants have also dealt with injuries to most of their main offensive playmakers this season. From Kenny Golladay to Sterling Shepard, the Giants have been shown multiple times this season why it’s a good idea to have depth.

The offense could benefit from the further depth added by signing Beckham, but there’s also some big reasons why it’s unlikely to happen.

Existing chemistry

The fact of the matter is, the Giants already have depth in the receiving game when their playmakers aren’t injured. Between Golladay, Shepard, Kadarius Toney, and the team’s tight ends, Daniel Jones has a lot of options to look for when everyone is on the field.

Adding Beckham comes with a lot of benefits, but also throws another receiver into the mix who expects targets and focus in route design.

In Cleveland, Beckham was often used as ‘bait’ rather than the main weapon in the offense. This might have been one of the reasons behind his falling out with the Browns, and the Giants may come up with a similar role if they end up with Beckham.

Despite the potential for added production, it’s hard to justify throwing off the current set of receivers. Daniel Jones is clicking fine with them when they’re on the field and not injured, and Kadarius Toney is developing as a star in his own right.

How can we expect that development to continue if the Giants suddenly have to account for another major name in the receiving game?

The Giants can’t afford Odell Beckham Jr.

Now that Beckham has cleared waivers, his old contract is dead and he’s free to sign for any team. However, it’s debatable whether the receiver is willing to play for peanuts or not.

And playing for peanuts is exactly what Beckham will have to do, if he wants to come home to the Giants.

The Giants have about $1.5M in cap space free right now, but that drops into the negative next season. Part of this is just the natural result of how Dave Gettleman has constructed this roster, and part of it is due to contract restructuring and money being moved towards the back end of deals.

But even assuming the Giants are only looking at Beckham as a rental, they can still hardly afford him unless he takes a large pay cut.

The cap hit for John Ross this season, after all, is $1.8M. And Ross is a player that came in with low expectations, seeking to revitalize his career after being labeled a bust. It’s safe to assume a star player like Beckham is worth more, and Beckham probably won’t take a ‘hometown discount.’

Beckham wants to play for a contender

Finally, we know that Beckham wants to play for a contending team.

Adam Schefter reported back on Sunday that Beckham wants to play for a playoff team and in a winning environment. Right now, unfortunately, none of those things really describe the Giants.

Of course, it looks like the Giants are in a better spot than they were in when they traded him. They aren’t the worst team in the league to play for, but they’re far from the best.

Beckham already went through the experience once of trying to win with struggling Giants teams. Given that he’s able to sign for any team right now, it’s not likely that going through the same thing again is in his plans.

It’s nice to think about the Giants having Beckham back – the receiver was an electrifying player at his best, and was around during the last time the Giants actually made the playoffs. Based on all the circumstances, though, an actual deal just seems like wishful thinking at this point.

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