EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - John Mara still wants Odell Beckham to have a long-term future and a long-term contract with the Giants. But that future and contract may have to wait.
Mara said the timing of what once seemed to be an inevitable and lucrative long-term deal for Beckham is now up "for discussion" - and something Mara intends to talk about with new GM Dave Gettleman. Beckham's future certainly has been clouded by the ankle injury that cost him most of this season.
And Gettleman wants to meet and talk with Beckham before he makes any decisions on how to proceed.
"I don't know Odell. I never met him. I'm looking forward to it," Gettleman said. "Obviously, he's an extremely talented kid and makes stuff happen. We'll have that … what's that song? 'Getting to know you, getting to know you …' We'll do that and we'll get to know each other and we'll go from there."
That's a far cry from last August when Mara indicated he expected to begin contract negotiations with Beckham's agents after this season - something he reiterated was still possible even after Beckham injured his ankle in Week 5. Mara still sounded like he expected to pay Beckham at some point.
He just no longer sounds like he's in any rush.
"I still want him to be a part of this team in the future, but I think I have to sit with Dave and the new head coach and figure out exactly what is going to happen there," Mara said. "But let's face it, players with his ability don't come around very often. So yes, I want him to be a part of this team's future. As to when we actually do the contract, I think that's for discussion."
The Giants absolutely have time. Beckham's contract runs through the end of next season, when he's due to make $8.4 million on his fifth-year option. The Giants could also use the "franchise tag" on him in 2018 at a likely cost of $19 million. They could even use it again in 2019 and 2020, though the cost will increase each year.
Beckham, meanwhile, has previously made it clear he wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL - not just among receivers. He will almost certainly be looking for a deal worth $100 million at least over five years.
"Well, No. 1, who doesn't want a lot of money?" Gettleman said. "Anybody in here not want a lot of money? Everybody wants a lot of money, guys. OK?"
That was far more light-hearted than Gettleman likely will be in the eventual negotiations. Part of the problems that led to him being fired as the GM of the Carolina Panthers last June was his reputation as an unforgiving negotiator who set a price and stuck to it. He angered several veteran players and their agents along the way.
If he chooses to stay on board as assistant GM, Kevin Abrams is the one who handles most of the negotiating with the Giants. But Gettleman, with obvious input from his bosses, is the one who'll set the price and determine the team's direction.
And if Beckham's feelings are hurt by that price, it doesn't sound like Gettleman will care.
"At the end of the day, that's something I've got to do - you've got to manage a cap," Gettleman said. "But really and truly before that, it's what players don't want to hear. They don't want to hear the value you put on them because it hurts their feelings. They're sad.
"This is a big-boy league. You got to put your big-boy pants on now. Nobody feels sorry for you. Nobody cares about your injuries. Nobody cares what you make, what you don't make. So I've learned that you have to be consistent. You got to be fair. And if the player is upset, so be it. So be it."