New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is going to need to give Big Blue a discount if he’s serious about signing a contract this offseason.
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will, excuse the phrase, need to put his money where his mouth is if he’s serious about wanting to put pen to paper on a contract extension with the only NFL home he’s ever known this offseason. Per Dan Duggan of NJ.com, the 25-year old stated on the red carpet of the NFL Honors show this past Saturday that it’s “time just to get it over with” regarding the matter.
Beckham’s situation as of the first full week of Feb. 2018 is as fascinating as it is complicated. On the field, he is a superstar in every sense of the word, a true home-run hitter who can take the ball to the house from just about anywhere and who saved no fewer than four games for the Giants during the 2016 season. He’s set numerous records well before entering his physical prime, and he has the goods to easily make it to the Hall of Fame before his 40th birthday at this rate.
Yes, Beckham has allowed his emotions to get the best of him in multiple instances, and it’s hardly a secret people within the organization didn’t love his dog celebration from this past fall. Remember, though, that Beckham has no history of significant legal problems. He doesn’t get into fights with teammates. He isn’t disliked inside the locker room. Narratives created about Beckham are downright silly.
What Beckham and those in his camp must remember is that the Giants hold all the power in negotiations with the gifted talent. That was the case a year ago, and it’s more true today than it was then. Beckham suffered an injury during a preseason contest in August, and he was then lost for the campaign after he fractured his ankle in Week 5. He is beginning a contract year with multiple questions hovering over his health and his ability to return to form.
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That he has only one year left on his rookie deal shouldn’t and won’t scare the Giants one bit. They didn’t blink when he skipped voluntary workouts before reporting to mandatory training camp last June, and they’d respond the same way if he repeated those actions later this year. Beckham could threaten a holdout, but that probably wouldn’t help his cause considering he’s never worked with the team’s new front office or played underneath new head coach Pat Shurmur.
The franchise tag is sitting there waiting for Beckham, who will make $8.4 million this year, if he doesn’t play ball and if the Giants wish to keep him or receive top value in a future trade. Quarterback Eli Manning is in the twilight of his career, and he wants to remain with the Giants up through the expiration of his contract. No defensive player on the roster is worthy of that tag. In short, the Giants retain Beckham’s rights for the foreseeable future.
Beckham has said a lot in recent memory. He’s discussed wanting to stay a one-club man, and he’s also explained his goal of becoming the league’s highest-paid player. Both aren’t happening anytime soon. The Giants will need to pay a future (hopeful) franchise quarterback, and the front office needs to improve multiple aspects of the defense. Any wideout, even one as great as Beckham, is only worth so much salary cap space.
Beckham would still get paid, and paid handsomely, if he offered the Giants even a slight hometown discount. Looking at values provided by ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan and Spotrac, Beckham could easily net $50 million in guaranteed money and a contract potentially worth $90 million, overall, while still giving New York some cap relief. He’d be financially set for life, and he’d forever have a home with the organization, assuming he actually cares about such things.
Agents and player representatives would probably say Beckham should scoff at such an offer considering the salary cap is consistently rising, his still-untapped potential and the knowledge that franchises such as the Cleveland Browns are stockpiling money to pay top-tier players down the road. They’d correctly respond Beckham could receive up to $100 million in total money and more guaranteed cash if he waited until 2019 and ultimately forced the Giants to send him elsewhere. They’d probably be right so long as he plays as expected starting in September.
Cash isn’t everything. Beckham is already one of the faces of the NFL, and he’s on a deal with Nike that could earn him up to $48 million over eight years, per Nick DePaula of NiceKicks.com. He is that much more marketable playing for New York’s top football franchise, he’d be able to stay in the city he apparently loves, and he’d be that much more respected by the organization and by fans for even teasing that money isn’t as important as is winning a Super Bowl with the team that drafted him.
Talk is cheap, and so is the salary-cap value of Beckham’s current contract for 2018. Neither side needs to cave between now and June. Both can afford to allow the chips to fall where they may and gamble on future returns. For now, it’s on Beckham, not the Giants, to meet at some midway junction if he’s serious about going all-in with the franchise.