After a whirlwind month of March in which various reports had receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on his way to the Los Angeles Rams, the star receiver has reportedly decided to show up for Monday’s start of the New York Giants’ voluntary offseason conditioning program.
On the surface, the decision is a sign of good faith shown by the 25-year-old Beckham, who per an earlier report by the NFL Network, was said to be against setting foot on a football field without a new contract.
That report seemed to set off a firestorm regarding Beckham’s future with the team, one that came resulted in a split opinion as to whether the Giants would be better off without their best receiver. (Spoiler alert: They would not.)
On the surface, the report of Beckham’s plan to attend the start of the offseason program has many people breathing a sigh of relief (though interestingly enough, it doesn’t go into any detail regarding whether Beckham plans to hang around for most, if not all the offseason program).
While there is no question that Beckham’s being there is a sign of good faith and a step in the right direction toward his quest for a new long-term contract extension, it also behooves him to be there for other business-related reasons.
As first noted by Pro Football Talk, Beckham’s decision to work out at the team’s facility offers an additional layer of financial protection,
Article 21, Section 4 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement states, “Any player injured during offseason workouts will be protected in the same manner as if injured during the Club’s preseason training camp, provided he is working out at the Club’s facility under the direction of a Club official.”
What that means is that if the unthinkable should happen and Beckham were to suffer a setback in his rehab from a season-ending broken ankle while working out on the Giants property, his $8.5 million Paragraph 5 (P5) salary becomes fully guaranteed.
Taking things a step further—and to hopefully minimize trade rumors from resurfacing—that guarantee extends to include skill, injury and salary-cap termination according to Article 7, Section 7c(ii) if Beckham is on the 53-man roster coming out of training camp.
If the unthinkable were to happen
There is absolutely no reason to think that Beckham will suffer any setbacks that will keep him off the field this fall for the Giants.
Still, file this information away should the Giants ever run into this situation in what’s left of the current CBA’s lifespan (through 2020) with any player.
Per Article 20, Section 3(b), when a player in his option year suffers a non-football injury (which is what such an injury would likely be classified as if it were to happen away from a team’s facility), his option year would be tolled.
If, however, that player were to be able to pass a physical and be cleared to participate in football activities before the team’s sixth regular-season game, he would be owed his 2018 P5 salary on a prorated basis and his contract would not be tolled.