That Rex Ryan, he's one funny guy.
In an interview with Don Banks of SI.com, the Buffalo Bills coach mentioned in passing that he attempted to trade for Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014. That, of course, was when Ryan was coaching the New York Jets.
What prompted the Beckham reference? Ryan was defending the injury-prone Sammy Watkins, and he threw out Beckham's name to show that even great players have to deal with injuries.
Take it away, Rex:
"Has he missed a little time? Yeah. Big deal. He and everyone else," Ryan said of Watkins. "The Beckham kid came out the same year, and he missed how many games with a hamstring issue? Believe me, I was trying to trade for him when he had the hamstring. I was reading the [New York] papers, and I was like, ‘Well, hell, we’ll take him.’ But Sammy’s not even going to miss any time. He’s going to be ready to roll when it matters.”
Beckham's hamstring injury, which cost him the first four games of his rookie season, was a daily soap opera in New York in the summer of '14. It's not clear if the idea of trading for Beckham made it from Ryan's brain (imagination?) to his boss, general manager John Idzik. Chances are it was a case of Rex being Rex, trying to get something he knew he couldn't have.
It probably never happened, but let's try to imagine how the phone conversation might have gone with New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese:
Idzik: Jerry, we're interested in trading for Beckham.
Reese: Are you serious? You've got a better chance of getting David Beckham than Odell.
That Ryan brought it up now may have been another of his many post-firing tweaks at Idzik, who failed miserably in the area of talent procurement. Heck, the Jets didn't need Beckham anyway. They drafted three receivers that year -- Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa.
Two busts and a backup.