Odell Beckham isn't spending his spring catching passes from Eli Manning. But he did have time to catch a few from Johnny Manziel.
While the Giants' enigmatic star receiver skipped the first two days of the organized team activities (OTAs) this week, he was reportedly working out with Manziel, the troubled ex-NFL quarterback. On Tuesday, Beckham's "custom cleat artist," who goes by the name "Kickasso," posted a picture of himself hanging with a shirtless Beckham and Manziel on an outdoor football field.
Then, on Wednesday morning, TMZ posted the picture and reported that Beckham and Manziel "hit the gridiron for some passing drills", along with several other unnamed receivers.
Beckham, of course, created a few headlines earlier this week when a team source said he was one of the few Giants not to show up on Monday for the start of OTAs - which are voluntary, according to NFL rules. He missed Tuesday's OTA session as well, the source said. Of course, he's far from the only NFL player skipping OTAs, but it was still a curious decision given the events at the end of last season, including GM Jerry Reese's directive that Beckham needs to "grow up".
Despite that, some of his offseason decisions have been curious again. In early April, Beckham declined to join quarterback Eli Manning and a large group of Giants receivers, tight ends and running backs at the quarterback's annual mini-camp at Duke University. He reportedly said he had previously scheduled oral surgery for that week. Then he skipped the start of OTAs on Monday, as his trainer posted a video of him on Instagram working out in California instead.
It's not known how much, or if Beckham has attended the Giants' offseason workout program, which began in late April. But soon after the program opened, the Giants announced they had picked up the fifth-year option on Beckham's rookie contract, which is expected to be worth about $8 million for the 2018 season. That led him to vow on Twitter that "I will be workin harder than I ever have, to be the best that I ever have been. I'm more motivated now then I have ever been."
He also added "Words are only that, so its time for action."
Beckham caught 101 passes for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Giants last season, but had an awful, drop-filled, four-catch, 28-yard game in the Giants' 38-13 playoff loss in Green Bay - after which he punched a hole in the wall just outside the interview area at Lambeau Field. He is due a little more than $1.8 million in salary from the Giants this season. He also recently signed a five-year deal with Nike worth $25-30 million - reportedly the richest shoe deal ever given to an NFL player.
According to a team source, Beckham is expected to return to New Jersey so he can attend the Giants' next OTA session on Thursday. Perhaps coincidentally - or maybe not -- that is the first OTA session open to the media this spring.