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Odell Beckham Jr. completes Giants visit, flies to Buffalo with noise building on Cowboys – Boston Herald


Sterling Shepard was Facetiming with Odell Beckham Jr. during the Giants’ open locker room Friday, asking when his friend would be at the facility and joking that “the Feds” — the local media — were hot on OBJ’s trail.

“I would be lying if I [said] having Odell in the locker room wouldn’t help this team,” Saquon Barkley said at his locker. “We’re in a great spot, but knowing Odell personally, the energy he brings, the swagger he plays with, the playmaking ability he has. The moment he steps in a locker room he automatically makes that team better.”

Beckham’s close ties to Barkley and Shepard make the Giants a serious contender to sign him after Thursday night’s dinner with Beckham, ownership and team brass — followed by a Friday physical in New York City and a quick afternoon stop in East Rutherford, N.J.

“We had a good dinner,” tight-lipped head coach Brian Daboll said. “I had a great steak.”

However, Beckham left New Jersey without a deal on Friday night and flew to Buffalo, continuing his free agent tour with the Bills.

And Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman poured more cold water on a Giants reunion by stamping Beckham to the Cowboys as all but guaranteed, in his mind.

“I think it happens,” Aikman told 96.7 The Ticket in Dallas. “I mean, if I was betting, I would bet virtually everything I have on it. I’ve never known Jerry [Jones] to lose a player that he’s wanted … I think second place [in the Beckham sweepstakes] is a distant second place.”

Additionally, Giants captain Julian Love said Friday that he thinks his team should be cautious about making any decisions that might mess with the Giants’ current internal dynamic.

“The community would love [Beckham coming back]. I’m pretty much in the middle of it. I can see the pros and cons to it,” Love said on the ‘Talkin’ Ball with Pat Leonard’ podcast. “He’s obviously a good player, but I feel like everyone looks at certain things with rose-colored glasses. You remember the good and you can forget … I just don’t want anything who we bring in to be a distraction ever. And that’s something that I think needs to be considered with this.

“I think it’d be great if we could get him on the team and healthy and balling for us,” Love added, “because we are light right now in the receiver room. But at the same time, we got to look at it from all sides and see, ‘Is it a fit?’ Because what might have been a fit four years ago, whenever he was here last — it’s a whole new roster, whole new team right now.”

Giants safety Terrell Burgess, Beckham’s teammate on last year’s Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams, said he realized last season that OBJ’s reputation was unfounded and that he was a great person and player.

“It’s funny because before then, all people would talk about was the media and him in Cleveland, him here the first time,” Burgess said. “And I feel like immediately I realized that not everything that was put out into the media was true. He’s a good person, good dude, funny, great teammate.

“Every receiver I’ve met in my life wants the ball, but he understood the situation he was coming into, especially with the season Cooper [Kupp] was having,” Burgess continued. “So he was a great teammate, positive, and he helped the offense. And I think wherever he goes he’ll be a help to any offense.”

Burgess also smiled broadly and mentioned the most pertinent fact to Beckham’s current free agent tour: his proven production.

“I feel like if he didn’t get hurt in the Super Bowl, he was primed for an amazing game,” Burgess said with a laugh.

That’s the reason Beckham’s free agent tour is getting so much attention, along with his international star power. He just contributed in a major way to the Rams winning the Super Bowl.

Giants receivers coach Mike Groh, who was Alabama’s wideouts coach in 2011-12 when OBJ starred at LSU, even lobbied Friday for a receiver who he called “pretty spectacular.”

“We all know that Odell has a unique skill set,” Groh said. “[There’s] his ability and body control to make contested plays, the natural hands that he’s got and the juice to go the distance whether you catch a deep ball or catch a short one and make a long run. He’s been a very productive player wherever he’s been.”

Of course, it’s not clear where Beckham’s twice-torn left ACL is. And it was hard to understand just how enthusiastic the Giants were in this pursuit from Daboll’s rigid and rehearsed statement.

“I know you guys will have a lot of questions, I’m sure, about Odell,” Daboll said. “And here’s what I would say about that: We had dinner with him last night, we had a good visit, and really other than that, I have nothing else to add.”

The Giants did fly Beckham in for his visit on a private jet to avoid any more seatbelt snafus, so they showed him some love. Shepard also got to hang out with Beckham after the dinner a bit and watch some of the Patriots-Bills game.

“We were watching the game and that was one of the big things he was saying: he just wants to get back to balling,” Shepard said.

But while Beckham is intrigued by a possible reunion with the Giants, Shepard wasn’t sure that having Barkley and him still on the roster would be enough to lure him home.

“I think that it has something to do with it, for sure,” Shepard said of the impact of their relationships. “But he’s gotta do what’s best for him and his family. So we all understand that, and he’ll make that decision for him and his family.”


Out: CB Adoree Jackson (knee), LG Josh Ezeudu (neck), LG Shane Lemieux (toe). Questionable: WR Darius Slayton (illness), C Jon Feliciano (neck), TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), CB Fabian Moreau (oblique), CB Darnay Holmes (shoulder), LB Carter Coughlin (thigh), S Dane Belton (clavicle), RB Gary Brightwell (illness), WR Richie James (knee).


Out: G Trai Turner (knee/ankle), CB Benjamin St.-Juste (ankle), WR Dax Milne (foot). Limited: DE Chase Young (knee), RB Antonio Gibson (foot).



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