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Why Odell Beckham Jr and the Giants Are Unlikely to Reunite

Giants Country on FanNation 12/3/2022 Patricia Traina
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A Giants-Odell Beckham Jr reunion would be quite the story. But such a reunion might be rooted more in fantasy than reality. Here's why.

A beloved fan favorite is sent out of town by a curmudgeonly executive. The athlete then undergoes a multi-year period of personal growth in overcoming the adversity of, among other things, not being an ideal fit with his new team and suffering two torn ACLs within 16 months of each other while somehow still managing to win a championship and again being cast aside.

How will the story end? That's what receiver Odell Beckham Jr and the rest of the football world are waiting to find out.

If Giants fans have their way, Beckham's football story will end with him returning where it started, albeit as a much more seasoned and mature player.

There's likely a part of Beckham that wants that to happen; if there wasn't, he probably wouldn't have bothered to come in for a two-day visit that spanned Thursday into Friday. 

And there are a couple of his former teammates--wide receiver Sterling Shepard and running back Saquon Barkley--who would love to drop the "former" descriptor from the equation and be able to call Beckham a teammate again.

Fueling the hopes of a potential reunion is the fact that Beckham reportedly had a productive visit with the Giants, a visit led by a new, open-minded regime that has no strings attached, no sentimentality toward the now 30-year-old receiver coming off two ACL injuries who reportedly is seeking $20 million per year.

But the next time Joe Schoen, the general manager of the Giants who, in tandem with head coach Brian Daboll determines what's best for the direction of the football club, makes a decision purely based on nostalgia will be a first. And if there is any temptation to break with that practice now, Schoen need only look at the mistake made by his predecessor.

Two years ago, the Giants, desperate for a play-making, No. 1 receiver, invested in Kenny Golladay, arguably the biggest name of that year's free-agent crop. Despite coming off a season-ending hip injury, Golladay got a four-year, $72 million contract as both he and the giants looked forward to a long, productive marriage.

It was not meant to be. Golladay struggled through injuries in his first season as a Giant when he wasn't struggling with the archaic offensive system former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was running, finishing with zero touchdowns and only 521 receiving yards in 14 games played.

Those struggles continued this year, as a knee injury has thus far limited Golladay to seven games with three starts. He's still yet to score a touchdown and has only caught four of his ten pass targets.

What does this have to do with Beckham, you might be wondering? As the Giants found out in 2021 when they tried to "buy" through free agency a winning football team, injured players are gonna get injured--Golladay, tight end Kyle Rudolph, and even first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney.

So why would Schoen invest what could hover around $20 million per year once all the incentives and other cap gymnastics involved in a guy coming off two ACLs who wasn't even able to work out for the teams he's visiting (Buffalo and Dallas being the others) when Schoen has bigger fish to fry in the off-season?

The answer is he probably won't. Yes, the free-agent crop of receivers right now doesn't look too appetizing, but that doesn't mean someone won't shake loose unexpectedly. That also doesn't mean someone in this year's college crop of receivers won't be a younger, healthier, and cheaper option.

Schoen has, thus far, been judicious with his spending and decision-making despite the temptation to add to the offense's arsenal, where it could desperately use a receiver to help take some of the pressure off the running game. 

He likely knows in his heart that there is much more work to be done to get this Giants team to become a legitimate playoff contender rather than one that many critics have labeled as an overachiever. 

Unless he was insincere about building through the draft and seeking to retain core talent while using free agency to supplement, Schoen's priorities need to be taking care of guys like running back Saquon Barkley, quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive back Julian Love, and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence II and adding another solid draft class before he can seriously even think of helping Beckham's script conclude. 

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