I’m onto your game here, Odell Beckham Jr. Publicly, annoying your buddy Deebo Samuel during his contract dispute with the San Francisco 49ers, it’s more than simply a joke. You see this wide receiver contract market. You saw the record contracts that were signed by Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill when they were traded by teams that did not want to pay their No. 1 options that type of money. You don’t have to be traded, you’re a free agent that unfortunately tore an ACL in the Super Bowl. You don’t want your name to be forgotten, and I don’t blame you.
All weekend Beckham has been on Twitter acting like he’s an NFL insider whose sole beat is Deebo Samuel. It started on Friday, when Beckham tweeted out that he had some tea from Samuel and asked the world if he should spill it. Samuel asked him to stop stirring up trouble with some laughing emojis. Beckham replied back that he’s having too much fun, but added: “fine bruh I won’t tell them what you just told me [hands covering face emoji] [mouth zipped emoji].”
Samuel laughed it off again and tried to move on. Then Beckham stepped it up a notch on Saturday. He actually tweeted out that Samuel had been traded to the New England Patriots.
The world of NFL insiders rushed to their smartphones to declare this fake news. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, and others said that there was zero truth in Beckham’s report. Samuel didn’t outright deny it, but he made it fairly clear that as of now he is not a part of the Patriot way when, seven minutes later, he subtweeted him, saying, “at this point bruh just bored.” Beckham jokingly apologized for recklessly making up trades, and said he’s just enjoying getting on Samuel’s nerves.
Maybe Beckham is really just being The Joker on social media and enjoying watching the internet burn, but I’m not buying that’s his sole motivation, especially after A.J. Brown got traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and rewarded with a 4-year $100 million extension. He knows that Samuel is next in line no matter how much the 49ers hem and haw, avoiding trades but not wanting to pay him top-receiver money, and Samuel saying he no longer wants to be the team leader in rushing touchdowns.
Beckham wants in on this. Obviously he’s going to be 30 years old next season, and likely not going to be able to play at all after tearing an ACL in February. With his injury history and age, it wouldn’t be the wisest decision to offer him a long-term deal while he’s rehabbing and it’s not known how well he will return from injury. During the NFL playoffs and towards the end of the season, Beckham was just beginning to look like the player who the New York Giants made the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL in 2018. He caught 9 passes for 113 yards in the NFC Championship Game, and scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl LVI.
He doesn’t believe that his time as a top NFL wide receiver is over, but with all of these younger players either getting paid or causing a ruckus by holding out, we’re forgetting about the player whose first three seasons as an NFL wide receiver can only be compared to Randy Moss and Jerry Rice.
Beckham surely wants another long-term deal even if he doesn’t put on pads again until he turns 31 years old in 2023. So while he’s enjoying messing with his friend on Twitter, I’m fairly certain this Twitter activity was about more than simply boredom on an April weekend with a bad knee.
He wants to make sure that his name is still on people’s lips while the wide receiver contract market is exploding, and it’s actually a good idea on his part. He got his Super Bowl, and hopefully he can cash out one more good time before his career is over.