With the Buffalo Bills off this weekend, Von Miller had some extra time to check in with teammates, fans and friends around the league. On Sunday, that included catching up with free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
On a Twitch stream, after a number of giveaways to fans, Miller FaceTimed with Beckham, among others. The wide receiver is in the middle of visiting teams, having met with the New York Giants on Thursday and Friday, and the Bills on Friday night and Saturday. The Dallas Cowboys are scheduled to host him Monday and Tuesday.
Beckham’s visit with the Bills was officially listed on the league’s daily transaction wire Saturday. The next day, over FaceTime, Miller teed up Beckham by telling him that all the commenters on Twitch hoped he had a good time in Buffalo. “I had the wings, the lemon pepper was good,” Beckham told Miller. “Everything was good, bro. It was a good visit.”
The Bills beat New England on Thursday night and were able to sit back and watch as they reclaimed first place in the AFC East and the conference after losses by Kansas City and Miami on Sunday. The Bills and Kansas City are 9-3, but the Bills hold the tiebreaker because of their mid-October victory in Arrowhead Stadium. The Dolphins are a game back at 8-4.
The call between Beckham and Miller on Sunday was brief, with Miller saying he didn’t want anything, and it “just a random OBJ appreciation moment.” But Beckham made it clear he was happy to answer. “You know, you see Von call, I’m always gonna answer the phone,” Beckham said.
Beckham joined the Los Angeles Rams last season just 10 days after Miller did, and the two won a Super Bowl together. Miller has been the most vocal advocate for the Bills adding Beckham, but as the decision gets closer, other players have been asked to weigh in. After the win Thursday night, Allen was asked what his role may be in recruiting the wide receiver. “We’ll see,” Allen said, before dropping his traditional, “Go Bills.”
Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, the team’s leading receiver, believes there’s room in the offense for a player such as Beckham. Since he entered the league, Beckham, 30, has 531 career catches for 7,367 yards and 56 touchdowns in 96 games with the Giants (2014-18), the Cleveland Browns (2019-21) and the Rams (2021).
“I’m gonna try my hardest,” Diggs said of recruiting Beckham. “He’s a hell of a player, definitely adds to our offense as far as like weapon wise. He’s a hell of a guy. We got some guys that make a lot of plays right now too, so, I can always say it’s never too many weapons, but I’m gonna try my hardest. We’ll see. He’s jumping around, so I gotta put the bug in his ear.”
Beckham did have more than just wings during his visit. Buffalo-based chef Darian Bryan, a favorite of many Bills players, shared a menu titled “Welcome, Odell!” on his Instagram story Friday night, with the fingers-crossed emoji. The four-course meal included a fried goat cheese salad, a Cajun seafood pasta, steak au poivre – a peppercorn crusted prime angus tenderloin filet – and dessert from Sweet Pea Bakery in Hamburg.
The eventual decision will still come down to a number of factors for Beckham and the teams pursuing him: his health, what he is asking for in terms of years and money, and what the respective teams can offer.
The timing of when he could be ready to play is unclear. Beckham has not played since leaving Super Bowl LVI in the second quarter with a knee injury. Beckham tore the same left ACL in October 2020. Per multiple reports, he is not taking part in workouts during his current tour. A return to the Giants could provide a nice story for Beckham, who began his career there and has friends on the roster trying to persuade him to come back.
However, of the three teams in the running right now, the Giants’ current trajectory merits the most scrutiny. The Giants are 7-4-1 after tying the Washington Commanders on Sunday. Before the tie, they had lost three of the last four, with the lone win coming over the Houston Texans. Under first-year head coach Brian Daboll, they had started 6-1 before struggling over the recent stretch.
The Cowboys were 8-3 heading into a Sunday night meeting with the Indianapolis Colts. Dallas has had the most public wooing of Beckham, with the involvement ranging from players such as quarterback Dak Prescott to owner Jerry Jones.
The Bills, meanwhile, have taken a quieter approach, but Miller’s check-in was to be expected. The pass rusher said in October that he talks to Beckham “probably every week,” and the two seem to trade responses on social media frequently, too. It’s no surprise that Miller will continue to lobby for his friend, as Beckham closes in on a decision.