Odell Beckham's rollercoaster career continues in Miami. He's ready for strong 'ending to the story'

Wed, May 15, 2024
NFL News (AP)

Odell Beckham's rollercoaster career continues in Miami. He's ready for strong 'ending to the story'

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - When Odell Beckham Jr. was asked by a friend a few years ago about the idea of joining the Miami Dolphins, he mildly shrugged off the notion at the time.

But the veteran receiver entered this offseason and began talks with coach Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins about a possible union, and it didn't take much convincing this time.

"Off the first meeting, I was just very excited about the opportunity," Beckham said Wednesday, speaking for the first time since joining the Dolphins. "I remember getting off the phone with my agent and being like, 'Yeah, this sounds good. Let's figure out a way to do it.'"

The Dolphins signed Beckham to a one-year deal earlier this month. McDaniel is the one who sold him, laying out the details of how he'll be used in Miami's high-flying offense.

"It kind of reminds me of a place where I had a lot of success at as far as the Giants," Beckham said, "and timing and all of those things that (McDaniel) talks about and preaches. He was speaking football. We sat down for hours and just talked football."

Beckham, who quickly rose to NFL stardom after being drafted by the New York Giants in 2014, understands that he's joining a loaded receiving group where he'll be quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's third option behind speedy wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

READ MORE The Giants will be making their 'Hard Knocks' debut on a new series focusing on the offseason Netflix will carry NFL games on Christmas Day for 3 years, including 2 this upcoming season NFL schedule: Rodgers and Jets will face Vikings in London on Oct. 6. Christmas games on Netflix

He's just fine with that.

"At this place in my life and my career, I haven't been the No. 1 in a minute," Beckham said. "You can go look at targets. You can go look at anything. That's not really where I've been at."

It's a role that Beckham has learned to accept and appreciate during the twists and turns of his 10-year NFL career, one that began with one of the best rookie receiving seasons in NFL history but has waned in recent years because of major injuries.

"I feel like I used to carry a lot of anger or resentment," Beckham said, "and now I just feel at peace. You're able to train. You're able to play the game that you love again."

Beckham was a 1,000-yard receiver five times in his first six NFL seasons but has not reached that mark since 2019 with the Cleveland Browns. Since then, he's had two ACL injuries, one of which sidelined him the entire 2022 season.

Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2014 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, said it's hard for him to not internalize the effect injuries have had on his career. He added that he's always out to prove something. Whatever that may be at this point in his career remains to be seen.

He's coming off a 565-yard season with 35 catches with the Ravens, who had a dominant 2023 season but fell short of Super Bowl expectations when they lost to Kansas City in the AFC championship game.

"I've given my entire life to this game," Beckham said, "and the way that it kind of went in the middle of the career, and even a little bit of last year, I can't go out like that. There's no way that I won't finish on a high note."

Beckham provides the Dolphins the solid third receiving option that they didn't have last season. He said he sees himself contributing a lot on third downs when Hill and Waddle are facing double teams.

Hill and Waddle combined for more yards (2,813) than any other wide receiver duo in the NFL in 2023, but no other Dolphins receiver had more than 27 catches or 238 yards. Tight end Durham Smythe was Miami's third-leading receiver last season with 366 yards on 35 catches.

Being able to end his career on his terms is one of Beckham's goals for this next chapter.

He's not sure if this will be his last NFL season - he's more focused on winning another Super Bowl and staying healthy. But now more than ever, he said he's at peace with however the rest of his story unfolds.

"Forget the middle part," Beckham said. "When we read a book, the start's going to capture us. We read the body of the story, and then, how is it going to end? That's kind of where I'm at. Let's have a great ending to the story."

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

ALANIS THAMES Thames is an Associated Press sports writer based in Miami. She previously covered sports for the New York Times. "
Article Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
TKWins.com
DynamicSportsPlays.com