A couple weeks ago, it looked like a foregone conclusion that free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. would team up with the Dallas Cowboys for the stretch run of this season.
Now, not so much. On Tuesday, a report emerged from ESPN's Ed Werder that the Cowboys have "concerns" about Beckham's recovery from the torn ACL that he suffered during the Super Bowl and his ability to return to the field this year.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk doesn't believe that report surfaced by accident.
He also believes Beckham should be "upset" with the Cowboys for leaking information about his injury, even going so far as to suggest Beckham might sue the franchise.
In a Tuesday column, Florio speculated that the Cowboys — who perhaps overplayed their hand when they had not just current players calling for Beckham to sign with the team, but head coach Mike McCarthy and owner Jerry Jones publicly courting him, as well — leaked their concerns about Beckham's knee in an effort to get him to agree to less money or to a contract that does not extend beyond this season.
Beckham, meanwhile, has been adamant about reaching a multi-year deal with his next team.
The leak might also be an attempt to placate fans who had been led to believe the Cowboys would sign Beckham, Florio wrote.
Regardless of its intent, Florio makes a compelling case that the result of the leak will be that Beckham does not wind up playing for the Cowboys. He also noted that it's not impossible that Beckham, who recently sued Nike for breach of contract, could have a case against the Cowboys for violating his medical privacy rights.
It's looking less and less likely that we will see Beckham on the field this season. With just five weeks left before the playoffs, he's running out of time to sign with a team. And if the Cowboys have concerns about his knee, others teams likely do, as well.
But regardless of whether it's this year or in 2023, Florio, who knows the NFL as well as anyone, believes Tuesday's news makes it highly unlikely that Beckham makes his return in a Cowboys uniform.