New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. extension imminent after Diggs’ deal
New York Giants stud wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is currently set to play the 2018 regular season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal worth $8.459 million.
So far, the New York Giants front office has been non-specific regarding extension talks, and co-owner John Mara has not given fans a date as to when the team plans to cut a long-term deal with the 25-year-old three-time Pro Bowler.
Per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, Mara expects to get the ball rolling shortly.
“I anticipate we will be speaking with his agents sooner rather than later,” Mara said Thursday prior to the G-Men’s first training camp practice. “I’m not going to give you the exact timetable on that. I think those will start pretty soon, and hopefully, we’ll be able to come to an agreement.”
The Giants made it clear they wanted to see their star mature and become a better example for a New York roster that is young and redone in GM Dave Gettleman’s and head coach Pat Shurmur’s image.
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Beckham has checked all boxes by attending voluntary workouts and OTA’s this offseason, and he has been front-and-center for training camp since the start. He has effectively squashed any rumors of a potential holdout in the process.
Combine Beckham’s positive attitude with the fact that teams have recently offered big-named skill players new extensions like candy, and it’s clear that the pressure to get OBJ signed as soon as possible is now imminent.
Busy offseason for top wideouts
The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday that they secured wide receiver Stefon Diggs to an expensive five-year extension, guaranteeing about 56 percent of his total contract in the process.
Diggs has proven himself a valuable asset to the Vikings offense. The “Minneapolis Miracle” last season, where the 24-year-old recorded a game-winning, walk-off touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional round, was just the latest example.
Still, Diggs has never recorded a 1,000 yard receiving season in his career, and he wasn’t even the best wideout on the Vikings last season with Adam Thielen earning that designation.
He is currently the fifth-highest paid WR in terms of total contract value and seventh in the league in total guaranteed money, per Spotrac.
Beckham Jr. doesn’t even crack the top 30 in either category.
How about Brandin Cooks? His five-year, $81 million contract extension this offseason with nearly $50 million guaranteed ranks him the third-highest paid receiver in the NFL.
Both Cooks and Beckham Jr. entered the NFL in 2014 as first-round selections. OBJ has two seasons where he finished top-five in total receiving yards. Cooks and Diggs have zero.
In light of those stats alone, even a novice agent has enough leverage to demand a negotiating meeting for their high-profile client.
When can we expect a deal?
The New York Giants have just signed their entire 2018 draft class, which featured No. 2-overall selection Saquon Barkley’s four-year, $32 million deal.
Linebacker Connor Barwin just joined the team from the Los Angeles Rams on an affordable two-year, $3.5 million contract. Unfortunately, that leaves the Giants just north of $1.2 million left in total cap space, per Over the Cap.
If Beckham’s extension gets done in 2018, his first-year cap hit would have to remain close to the $8.5 million slot he is set to account for this season. As a result, the New York Giants front office would have to allocate a high signing bonus—essentially forking over a large amount of up-front cash—just to push his high cap charges into future years.
Also, because of the leap-frogging nature when it comes to elite players seeking new deals, Beckham will likely exceed Mike Evans’ $82.5 million total contract value and $55 million in guarantees as well as Antonio Brown’s $17 million average annual payouts.
The New York Giants aren’t expected to receive external pressure from the league with most of the big-named receivers out there financially satisfied at the moment. Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate will be a free-agent in 2019, but he recently stated that he would honor the rest of his deal for 2018, per Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.
If the Giants wait until after this season, though, then they would be taking a risk.
A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Julian Edelman, Amari Cooper, and teammate Sterling Shepard, amongst others, are all set to be unrestricted free-agents in 2020 who could campaign for extensions as soon as March.
Beckham Jr. has not held out on Big Blue thus far, and the Giants may no longer hold out on him either.