With the Giants picking up Odell Beckham Jr.'s fifth-year option of his rookie deal, the prospect of signing him to a lucrative long-term deal is hanging over their heads every day the new league year gets closer.
Co-owner John Mara has already said that he wants Beckham to be a Giant for life, and he wants to strike a deal with him sooner than later. But just how long is Mara willing to wait?
Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News pointed out that because Beckham is financially stable enough, he could holdout from the Giants if he feels his deal should be given to him at the moment. The Rams' Aaron Donald did it last season, where he held out the entire preseason before returning to the Rams' facility before Week 1 (the team also waived his $1.5 million in fines he racked up over that span).
So, Beckham could very well sit out until he inks a new contract.
"With his five-year, $25 million Nike endorsement contract with incentives signed last year, Beckham is both secure enough financially to withstand a holdout and marketable enough to demand the type of salary most cannot," Leonard wrote. "...And he said last year he wants to be the highest-paid player in the league. Don't forget that."
As the DNL crew points out, Beckham most likely won't see deals like quarterbacks are getting today (Jimmy Garoppolo was just awarded five-years, $137.5 million). However, he can very well break Antonio Brown's $17 million he makes annually. DeAndre Hopkins just signed a five-year, $81 million deal, and though it doesn't break Brown's annual salary, he did receive $49 million of it guaranteed.
Beckham did not attend of OTAs last season, and if he feels a new deal is necessary at the moment, he could be out even longer.
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The short answer to "Is Beckham worth it?" is yes. Leonard makes all the good points to sign him here with all the NFL and franchise records he's broken up until this point, and the fact that he has more touchdowns than Hopkins, who just got his big deal, in 17 fewer games.
But there's always a silver lining in any case when a player wants a big, lucrative, long-term deal. For Beckham, right now, that silver lining is his repaired ankle from last season.
If you were to ask me if Beckham deserved a contract before the ankle, I would've told you to just hand the man a pen because he was going to get what he wanted. But coming back from a surgically-repaired ankle brings questions to the table now. Will he perform like the normal playmaker the Giants are used to having? Are there going to be any setbacks in what he is able to do on the field?
Players like Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz are great examples of Giants receivers who never fully recovered from injuries, so you know the Giants will have this in their mind.
These questions and more will arise as the new year gets closer, which is why it wouldn't be smart for Beckham to holdout, and demand his new contract now. He needs to understand that asking for the money he wants is a big decision for any team, and the Giants want all the holes plugged up nice and tight before they show him the signature line.
The ankle seems to be healed as Beckham continues to workout, and that's all fine and dandy. He has to show it on the field, though, and not bring his offseason training to the table when bargaining for a new contract if that's what he wants to do.
The Giants could even issue him a new deal in the middle of the season after he shows them he is good to go.