The Buffalo Bills have been linked to free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for over a year, as superstar edge rusher Von Miller publicly campaigned to get his former Los Angeles Rams teammate to join him in Orchard Park throughout the 2022 NFL season.
While the possibility of landing the three-time Pro Bowler died down once the playoffs started last season, as it became clear Beckham wasn’t fully healed from his ACL surgery to contribute on the field right away, Buffalo was one of the dozen teams in attendance for Beckham’s private workout earlier this month.
Beckham impressed suitors in Arizona on March 10, but he remains a free agent, which seemed largely due to the fact that he’s demanding a $20 million salary, a tough sell for a 30-year-old veteran who hasn’t played a snap since Super Bowl LVI in February 2021. However, Beckham tried to clear the air on Saturday, March 18, claiming that he never asked for such a high contract.
“I’m just so confused where the quote is from me tht said I want 20…..😭🙄all I’m sayin is 4 AINT enough,” he tweeted, a message which turned heads on the social media app.
While NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero reported that Beckham made “no financial demands” following his workout, the former first-round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft is clearly not enjoying getting what he feels is lowball offers. He tweeted on March 16 that “he’s down to bargain” but added, “These people see the number on the screen and have no understand as to how much of that money do we actually see! Nah im gooooood… but sheeeed why would I not wanna get paid the max when I kno what I bring and what I can make for an organization ?”
Beckham no doubt has the ability to be a difference-maker on a team. He’s recorded 531 receptions for 7,367 yards and 56 touchdowns over the past eight seasons of his NFL career, and he likely would’ve been named Super Bowl MVP had he not gotten injured mid-game. However, due to his age and anticipated rust, it makes sense for suitors to offer him an initial prove-it type of deal before locking OBJ down to a lucrative long-term deal.
Bills GM Still Open to Adding a New WR After Signing Deonte Harty
After making a flurry of moves in a free agency and restructuring several major contracts on the roster, Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters on Thursday, March 16 that they weren’t “necessarily done” making moves. “There’s still a lot of free agents out there, we’re having conversations… We still have money, we just have to be smart,” Beane said.
The following day, Buffalo cut Isaiah McKenzie, which wasn’t a huge surprise after the Bills made the move to sign former Saints wide receiver Deonte Harty, who’s seen as an upgrade at the slot position. Beane said, “Deonte fits what we call our 4 role, which is a guy who can play outside and play inside,” but noted that signing the 2019 All-Pro won’t keep them from adding another receiver.
Syrcause.com’s Matt Parrino tweeted, “Beane said the Bills thought Odell Beckham Jr. had a good workout. He said he’ll always want to add good football players and the addition of Deonte Harty doesn’t take them out of the wide receiver market. He said he’s determined to add competition at numerous spots.”
The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia wrote on March 17, “Even with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and Khalil Shakir returning, it likely doesn’t preclude them from adding another big-time talent at receiver through the draft. Even though Harty can play the boundary, he’s only 5-foot-6, so he’s likely not going to be an every-snap player there.”
The Bills Hired OBJ’s Longtime Mentor as a Coach
Before the Bills attended Beckham’s workout, rumors connecting the two-time All-Pro receiver to Buffalo resurfaced after it was announced Adam Henry was joining the coaching staff on February 15.
Henry, 50, takes over the vacant position left by Chad Hall, who signed on to become the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers coach after his contract expired in Buffalo this offseason. The hiring of Henry caused a major stir not just because “he’s a very good coach,” as NFL Insider Ian Rapoport noted, but because of his relationship with OBJ.
Henry was the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at LSU during Beckham’s tenure with the Tigers, during which the former first-round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft earned first-team All-America honors. He made both Beckham and Jarvis Landry, the latter of whom was a second-round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, LSU’s first pair of receivers to break 1,000 yards in a single season.
Henry followed Beckham to the NFL and served as his wide receivers coach during his time with the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns. While Henry has also spent time with the Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers, he most recently served as Indiana’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.