In early October, when Odell Beckham Jr. no longer in the mood to be cryptic about his disappointment with the Los Angeles Rams and their “lowest of lows” contract offer for 2022, a source from the team asked a question that rings louder than ever this month. At the time, Beckham was still months away from viability on the football field due to a torn ACL last season, but the Rams tried their best to stay in his good graces.
Then Beckham tweeted on Oct. 12 that the Rams offered him “NOTHING”, and that while the free agent fully knew his “worth”, the deal offered by the Rams “doesn’t reflect that”.
“What is his worth and who offers it to him?” asked a Rams source a few days after the Beckham tweet. “That’s everyone’s market, right?”
The source added that they weren’t trying to be dismissive, reiterating that the Rams wanted a reunion with Beckham after he helped them win the Super Bowl in February. But they also reiterated a caveat that three members of the Rams Braintrust made when I visited training camp in August: Beckham wouldn’t be ready to play until late in the season. By then, circumstances may have changed for both parties. In regards to the Rams, that was just right. It seems everything has gone wrong, knocking the team out of postseason contention and making a Beckham chase a moot point.
But for Beckham?
The circumstances surrounding his contract expectations are still fairly well known. He believes he knows his worth. And as of Dec. 13 — two months since his complaints about the Rams — Beckham still doesn’t have an NFL team willing to give it to him. Not the Dallas Cowboys. Not the New York Giants. Not the Buffalo Bills. And not any of the other Super Bowl contenders who could have paid him a visit this week, but oddly didn’t try. All of this leaves a good number of teams wrong about Odell’s worth, or maybe he’s sailing with a free agency card upside down.
To underline that reality, let’s take a look at a sentence from one of the founders of day trading, Jesse Livermore. As the 1900s stock market expert once put it, “Markets are never wrong, opinions often are.”
In this case, Beckham’s view of his worth is demonstrably wrong. If it wasn’t for that, he would be on an NFL roster right now. Instead, veteran players like TY Hilton and Cole Beasley have signed with the Cowboys and Bills, respectively. Meanwhile, no one in the NFL seems quite sure what Beckham looks like as he runs around on a field after his second ACL surgery, as he refused to work out during one of his free agency visits earlier this month.
While they may not have been in a hurry to say it publicly, that was a problem for the teams most eager to sign him. Meanwhile, Hilton trained for Dallas on Monday morning and had a contract by noon. And Beasley? He agreed to sign a deal for the practice team that could very well make him a week-to-week roster for the team.
All of this comes just days after Beckham publicly said he didn’t see the point of playing in the regular season. Which, if we’re really here, is in the same zip code as a team that doesn’t see the point in signing a player who doesn’t want to play in the regular season.
Different opinions. Different decisions. Beckham remains unsigned. Not Hilton and Beasley. That’s the market speaking.
Of course, this is not all due to a training problem. Beckham doesn’t want a short-term deal like the one he signed with the Rams last season. He bet on himself in 2021 that he wouldn’t get injured and lost. It’s understandable why he doesn’t want to make that bet again. Instead, he entered the final off-season looking for safety. A one-year contract wouldn’t entice him, especially if it only left him with a sink-or-swim widow of a few games – which might be just enough to get injured again, but not enough to cancel his free contract. feed. agent market.
Preseason talks with the Rams made it clear that Beckham was looking for a long-term contract. He wanted something substantial from the team, given that he had helped them win a Super Bowl and expected some loyalty in return. When that didn’t happen, he was upset. But his contract attitude had not changed. If he signed anywhere, it would be for long-term security and the kind of money that – at worst – made him a middle class No. 1 in terms of salary.
What teams have in mind for him is something else. In fact, the Cowboys pretty much showed what Beckham would have been looking at in terms of contract structure with the team. Hilton received $600,000 for the remaining four games of this season and will receive $50,000 bonuses for each game he is on the team’s active roster during those four games. Aside from that, Hilton can also rake in as much as $700,000 in post-season incentives.
A team source told Yahoo Sports that the Cowboys were willing to offer Beckham more money if a deal was discussed. However, it would have been highly stimulated and short-lived. Unfortunately for Dallas, that’s the kind of structure Beckham has not interested in. It may be the market, but it’s still not the market in Beckham’s head.
At some point, one side has to give in here. And time is getting extremely short. Either Beckham gets closer to a team’s short-term prospects, or a franchise starts leaning on the wideout’s long-term expectations.
As of Tuesday evening, a significant compromise appears dead. And until something changes, that’s the best way to describe Beckham’s 2022 season status.