Sooner or later the New York Giants will back up the truck and park a massive amount of cash at the doorstep of Odell Beckham Jr. That might happen this offseason, though that seems unlikely. It might be next offseason, or even the year after that. It seems almost inevitable, though, that the Giants and their celebrity superstar wide receiver will eventually agree on a deal that will make Beckham a very, very rich young man.
What might a deal between Beckham and the Giants look like?
Most of the insiders I asked figure Beckham will shoot for, and probably get, the richest wide receiver contract in NFL history. At least in terms of annual value and guaranteed money if not total overall value.
The current highest-paid wide receiver, by contract value, is Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons. He is is the midst of a five-year, $72.256 million deal he agreed to in 2015. His average salary per year is $14.25 million, third among receivers. At $35.5 million, Jones has the highest amount of guaranteed money in his deal.
Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the highest-paid receiver in terms of annual value, earning $17 million per year on a four-year, $68 million deal with $19 million guaranteed. Brown signed that deal in February of this year.
The largest deal ever given to a wide receiver was the seven-year, $113 million extension given to Calvin Johnson in 2012 by the Detroit Lions. That made his total deal eight years and $132 million.
Could an eventual Beckham deal top the Johnson benchmark for total value? That $132 million figure might be a stretch, but if Beckham has a great 2017 and the Giants make a deep playoff run anything can happen. A new deal will likely, however, top the $17 million annually Brown gets from the Steelers. It will likely also far exceed Jones’ $35.5 million guarantee, perhaps being more than $50 million.
A Deeper Look
Pat Traina of Inside Football took a deep dive into the numbers to show why, from the business side of the equation, the Giants would be smart to wait until 2018. My $.02 on that, which I’ve shared before, is that next offseason is when I would anticipate a deal getting done.
Pro Football Talk recently wrote about the idea that eventually an NFL player will get a contract that includes a salary that pays him a percentage of the salary cap rather than a set, negotiated dollar figure. PFT expects that to be a quarterback, though, not Beckham.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell points out that the Giants “have massive amounts of leverage in negotiating an extension” with Beckham.
The money dance between Beckham and the Giants is just getting started. Hopefully, this gives you a little better understand of some of the factors involved, and where the whole thing might end up.