PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Giants won’t have an easy time extending Odell Beckham Jr.’s contract.
Honestly, all the trade accusations around polarizing Giants pass catcher were hasty, yes?
But after some tough increments that featured rumblings of off-field trouble, the threat of a holdout until the delivery of Odell Beckham’s contract extension and yes, the team possibly
disposing of their young, amazing talent via trade, now it looks like the Giants are ready to talk extension.
Let it be known that locking up Beckham for eternity is a task very far from complete, but at least the Giants are talking about it.
“It’s not the first contract negotiation we’ve ever had,” team co-owner John Mara said (h/t ESPN. com’s Jordan Raanan). “It will get done when it’s supposed to get done.”
Beckham’s rookie contract expires at the end of the 2018 season where he is owed $8.5 million, a bargain considering he is one of the most explosive playmakers in the NFL when healthy.
Normally, an extension would have been at the top of the Giants’ offseason checklist. It might very well could have been, but questions surrounding Beckham’s immaturity has seemingly stalled proceedings, which ushered the 25-year-old’s threat of holding out until he gets a new contract.
Just hours after the news of his potential holdout broke toward the end of March, his name suddenly and shockingly appeared in trade rumors with teams like the Los Angeles Rams showing initial interest.
Trade talks have died down since as Beckham reported to team facilities in early April for offseason workouts and later showed up at minicamp even though he is continuing his rehab on an ankle injury that limited his 2017 season to just four games. Head coach Pat Shurmur even said that Beckham will “absolutely” be a Giant next season (h/t NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones).
But there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome before securing Beckham for the long haul.
Over the winter, it became known that Beckham will be looking for a contract that pays him at least $20 million annually, an exorbitant figure no other receiver in the league makes. Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown makes an average of $17 million per year. Looking at the Giants, Eli Manning is the only player on the roster that makes more as he provides a $22.3 million cap hit in 2018.
It’s impossible for New York to dole out that kind of contract right now, regardless. Due to an aggressive free agency period that included the signing of Nate Solder and Jon Stewart, along with taking on of Jason Pierre-Paul’s $15 million of dead money after he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the franchise has an estimated $9.1 million of cap space remaining in 2018, per OverTheCap.com.
All of that remaining money can’t even be given to him considering the Giants need to resign their entire rookie class of draft picks and undrafted free agents.
If the Giants are truly hellbent on getting Beckham a new deal this offseason, they likely would have to restructure the contract of a more expensive player on the roster, assuming he agrees to take what is basically a pay cut. That way they can offer something closer to the ballpark figure of $20 million while keeping the team under the cap.
There are a few hurdles the Giants have to clear before seriously pursuing a contract extension for star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.