Odell Beckham Jr.’s ears indispensable person been ringing close earlier Sterling Shepard’s telephone buzzed.
Only minutes aft Shepard was finished getting interrogated by the media Friday connected each facet of Beckham’s two-day escaped cause sojourn with the Giants, Shepard was connected a FaceTime telephone astatine his locker with Beckham. When the speech began to gully notice, Shepard walked disconnected into a backstage country with a gag astir eavesdroppers.
Beckham had meal Thursday with Giants caput manager Brian Daboll and different members of the organization’s brass, went off-site to acquisition a carnal exam Friday greeting and past returned to the installation astatine 3:45 p.m. for ceremonial meetings. In his downtime, Beckham met up with Shepard and made plans to drawback up with Saquon Barkley earlier leaving municipality to spot the Buffalo Bills, the 2nd halt connected a three-leg circuit that yet volition extremity with the Dallas Cowboys.
“He said the meal went good and that was astir the grade of that conversation,” Shepard said. “We were watching the [Bills-Patriots] crippled and 1 of the large things helium was saying is helium conscionable wants to get backmost to balling.”
First, squad doctors request to get a look astatine Beckham’s twice-surgically repaired near genu (torn ACL).
“Coming backmost from an ACL is not an casual thing,” said Barkley, who tore his successful 2020. “It’s a long, hard road. If anyone I cognize has the close mindset and the close enactment ethic and the close radical astir him to propulsion him to get backmost to the benignant of subordinate we are utilized to seeing, it’s Odell. If helium comes here, helium has guys helium knows are going to person his back.”
There are a batch of reasons a Beckham-Giants reunion mightiness not work: Limited salary-cap abstraction successful 2022 to conscionable his declaration wishes, the anticipation that the Giants mightiness not marque the playoffs, the allure of much explosive offenses and the comparatively tight-lipped attack to recruiting a prima who admittedly likes to “feel the love.”
“We had a bully visit,” Daboll said. “Other than that, I person thing other to add. I’m focusing connected [a crippled against] Washington.”
But past determination is the Shepard-Barkley factor. The accidental to reunite with erstwhile teammates (and 2 of his champion friends) for unfinished concern with his archetypal squad (2014-18) that tugs astatine his heartstrings.
“I deliberation that has thing to bash with it, for sure,” Shepard. “But helium has to bash what’s champion for him and his family. We each recognize that.”
The Giants lone person 1 receiver (Darius Slayton) with much than 280 receiving yards connected the season. Three of their preseason apical 4 are not disposable – Kadarius Toney was traded and Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson are connected season-ending injured reserve – and Kenny Golladay has 4 catches successful 7 games.
Beckham has averaged 51.1 yards per crippled with 12 touchdowns successful 37 games for the Browns and Rams – a agelong way from the limb that Giants fans retrieve averaging 92.8 yards per crippled with 44 touchdowns successful 59 games.
“The infinitesimal Odell steps successful a locker country helium automatically makes that squad better,” Barkley said.
Receivers manager Mike Groh was acceptable to conscionable with Beckham for the archetypal clip aft years of facing him successful assemblage and the NFL. What’s the presumption from the different sideline?
“Pretty spectacular,” Groh laughed. “I don’t privation to get into the examination game, but we each cognize that Odell has got a unsocial accomplishment set: His assemblage power and quality to marque contested plays, the earthy hands, and the foodstuff that he’s got to spell the region with it. He’s been a precise productive subordinate wherever he’s been.”
Daboll was intentional to marque it wide that helium is not shortchanging his existent players by splitting clip betwixt courting Beckham and preparing for a crippled affluent with playoff implications connected some sides. Barkley said the specter of Beckham has not been a distraction successful the locker room.
“All my clip is connected Washington,” Daboll said. “I conscionable got a escaped meal.”
Because helium is not moving retired arsenic portion of the visit, arsenic antecedently reported by The Post, Beckham’s timeline for returning to the tract successful 2022 remains unclear. The Giants person the headdress abstraction to spend him successful 2023, if helium wants to operation a declaration with a smaller signing bonus and a bigger guaranteed salary.
“I told him, ‘It would beryllium a peculiar happening if you travel backmost here. The metropolis would beryllium blessed astir that and it would beryllium similar aged times,” Shepard said. “He was like, ‘You’re dang close astir that.’”