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Odell Beckham contract negotiations will start “pretty soon” — John Mara

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Mara says star receiver’s attitude has helped fuel desire to reach deal

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp
John Mara
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants co-owner John Mara said Thursday that negotiations for a new contract with star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will begin “pretty soon” and that he hopes to reach a deal “sooner rather than later.”

Beckham has watched this offseason as several star players, many wide receivers from his 2014 draft class, have gotten new contracts. Fans and media have wondered when Beckham’s turn would come, with our own Chris Pflum today impatiently demanding that the Giants “pay the man!”

It sounds as if the Giants are getting ready to do just that.

“I anticipate we’ll be speaking with his agents sooner rather than later,” Mara said. “We’ll start pretty soon.

“This is the time that we always had in mind.”

Beckham is currently set to play on his his fifth-year option, which would pay him $8.459 million.

Beckham in the past has said he would like to be the game’s highest-paid player, but he made no waves about his contract this offseason. Rehabbing from his fractured ankle, he attended several OTAs, mandatory mini-camp and has shown up for training camp on time.

Mara said Beckham’s approach “certainly had an effect on our desire to start negotiations.”

I think Odell personally is moving in the right direction. I think he has come in here with a good attitude, showed up yesterday with a smile on his face and worked hard, and I think he’s ready to go,” Mara said. “I think he’s ready to have a great season and we’re ready for him to have a great season.”

Beckham did limited work in the spring as he returns from a fractured ankle, and Mara admitted the organization wanted to be sure he was healthy.

“We certainly wanted to see what he could do on the field,” Mara said. “We feel very good about where he is physically.”

Mike Evans, drafted in Beckham’s 2014 class by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is now the highest-paid receiver in football with a five-year, $82.5 million deal ($38.258 million guaranteed). Brandin Cooks just signed a five-year, $81 million extension.

Beckham’s deal is likely to far exceed those. Mara, though, didn’t want to speculate on contract numbers.

“We obviously want him to be a Giant for a long time,” Mara said. “We know what it’s going to take — we think we know what it’s going to take.”

Whatever that price ultimately ends up being, Giants fans can now be certain that the team intends to pay it.