I’m on your game here, Odell Beckham Jr. Publicly teasing your pal Deebo Samuel during his contract dispute with the San Francisco 49ers is more than a joke. You see this wide receiver contract market. You’ve seen the record-breaking deals signed by Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill when they were traded by teams who didn’t want to pay for their No. 1 options with that kind of money. You don’t need to be traded, you’re a free agent who unfortunately tore his cruciate ligament in the Super Bowl. You don’t want your name forgotten, and I don’t blame you.
All weekend, Beckham has been pretending to be an NFL insider on Twitter whose only beat is Deebo Samuel. It started on Friday when Beckham tweeted that he had some tea of Samuel and asked the world if he should spill it. Samuel asked him to stop causing trouble with some laughing emojis. Beckham replied that he was having too much fun but added: “Well bruh I’m not going to tell them what you just told me [hands covering face emoji] [mouth zipped emoji].”
Samuel laughed it off and tried to continue. Then Beckham took it up a notch on Saturday. He actually tweeted that Samuel was traded to the New England Patriots.
The world of NFL insiders rushed to their smartphones to declare these fake news. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer and others said there was zero truth in Beckham’s report. Samuel wasn’t outright denying it, but he made it pretty clear he’s not part of the Patriot path now when he did seven minutes later subtweeted him and said, “Bruh is just bored at this point.” Beckham jokingly excused for being reckless in his dealings and said he just enjoys bugging Samuel.
Maybe Beckham really is just the wild card on social media and enjoying watching the internet burn, but I don’t think that’s his only motivation, especially now that AJ Brown has come along traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and was rewarded with a four-year, $100 million extension. He knows that no matter how much the 49ers play, Samuel is next in line hem and hawhe avoids trades but doesn’t want to pay him money for the top receiver, and Samuel says he no longer wants to be the team leader on fast touchdowns.
Beckham wants to be part of it. Apparently he’ll be 30 next season and probably won’t be able to play at all after tearing his cruciate ligament in February. Given his injury history and age, offering him a long-term contract while he is in rehab would not be the wisest decision and it is unknown how well he will return from injury. During the NFL playoffs and late into the season, Beckham was just beginning to look like the player the New York Giants made the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver in 2018. He caught 9 passes for 113 yards in NFC championship play and scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl LVI.
He doesn’t think his time as a top NFL wide receiver is over, but with all these younger players either getting paid or causing an uproar by persevering, we forget the player whose first three seasons as an NFL wide receiver were recipients can only be compared to Randy Moss and Jerry Rice.
Beckham certainly wants another long-term deal, even if he doesn’t put pads on until he turns 31 in 2023. So while he enjoys messing with his boyfriend on Twitter, I’m pretty sure this Twitter activity was about more than just being bored on an April weekend with a bad knee.
He wants to make sure his name stays on everyone’s lips while the wide receiver contract market explodes, and it’s actually a good idea on his part. He got his Super Bowl and hopefully he can still cash out some good time before his career is over.