Perhaps, it does come down to an either or proposition for the New York Giants and Odell Beckham, Jr. this season. The team needs to pay him or trade him.
Everyone knows that Beckham’s rookie contract does concludes after the 2018 NFL season. Extending OBJ becomes an area where, quite frankly, you can see the argument both for and against. It’s also an area where both the New York Giants and Odell Beckham can either look good or bad.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN penned a nice piece that puts negotiations in their proper perspective. Like almost everything else, this situation requires context. Remember, all negotiations have twists and turns, and not all come to a successful conclusion either.
In the case of the New York Giants, they have a history with receivers’ injuries. Heck, Brandon Marshall broke down in less than one season. Ultra productive wideouts, Steve Smith and Victor Cruz, suffered debilitating injuries. Even the early greatness of Hakeem Nicks was quickly cut short by the time he was 27-years old.
On Beckham’s side, he has been one constant in franchise in varying states of disarray throughout his entire New York Giants career. In his first season in the league, OBJ caught 91 passes for 1,305 receiving yards. That season, 2014, he also grabbed 12 touchdowns, that accomplished while missing four games.
New York Giants
Even with a salary north of $8 million this season, the Giants got significant value from his rookie contract. Unfortunately, don’t expect the New York Giants to apologize for that. By OBJ’s third season, based strictly upon his statistics, an extension offer could and probably should have been made.
The Giants never made an offer, likely due to off-field concerns. So the potential goodwill of an extension ended right there. And those who advocate the use of the franchise tag, don’t carefully consider the impact to the player or to the team’s salary cap.
From Here to There
Right now, it seems that the biggest impediment to an extension may be traced to the $20 million line in the sand drawn by Beckham’s camp. The $20 million average annual value (AAV) always seemed like a reach for Beckham. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown inked a deal with an AAV of $17 million. For Beckham to stretch the market 15 percent more than the previous high seems excessive.
In addition, there probably exists a reticence in the New York Giants organization to set an NFL salary bar. But the G-Men haven’t really had the best player at a position, likely since Lawrence Taylor. Surveying the landscape, Barnwell comes up with a compromise that seems to make sense.
"“If you were going to construct a feasible Beckham deal that set records across the board, here’s one way to do it. Let Beckham keep the $8.5 million he’s due to make this year and tack on a five-year, $100 million extension, giving OBJ that magic $20 million figure on his extension. The entire contract runs six years and $108.5 million, for a more accurate average of $18.1 million per season, which tops Brown’s deal. We also can pay Beckham $58 million over three years, although to fit all those other demands, it’s going to come with a catch in the structure.”"
The only way to look at this is to understand that both parties have something to gain and much to lose. For Beckham, lose your unnecessary antics, and this becomes a no-brainer. For the New York Giants, start rewarding homegrown players. You have safety Landon Collins and wideout Sterling Shepard to handle shortly as well.
If the Giants voice a concern that they want to see Beckham return to the field first, then they have to compromise. The idea that they won’t negotiate contracts during the season simply remains an artificial barrier.
Based upon everything we’ve seen and heard, it’s within reach that something gets done.