Odell Beckham Jr. has been setting records since he entered the NFL in 2014. Now, he has a record-setting contract to go along with it. Beckham and the New York Giants have finalized a long-awaited mega-contract.
There was a time back in the offseason when it looked like this deal, which both sides have seemingly wanted for a while now, might not happen.
Back in March, there were reports that the Giants — perhaps tired of the drama and distractions that have surrounded Beckham since he was the team’s first-round pick in 2014 — were open to the idea of trading the superstar wide receiver rather than paying him.
Whether there were any teeth to those rumors or not, the idea made sense. The Giants had a new regime, they were 3-13 a year ago, Beckham was on the cusp of the mega-deal he now has, and both because of the constant swirl of non-football headlines he had always created and the serious injury he was coming off there were questions about whether the two sides would go forward with a long-term marriage.
Well, thanks to work done by both sides they have now done so.
New GM Dave Gettleman and new coach Pat Shurmur gave everyone, including Beckham, a clean slate. Reports are that as far back as February, Shurmur began reaching out to Beckham and building a relationship with him.
For his part, Beckham did everything he could to show the Giants that he wanted to be with the team. He never complained to the media about his contract or threatened a holdout. He showed up to OTAs, mandatory mini-camp and training camp despite not having a new deal. He worked tirelessly and showed the Giants not only that he wanted to be there, but that the injury had not robbed him of any of the explosiveness that made him the great player he was before injury.
Beckham once said the dream was to be the highest-paid player in the game. He won’t be that, but he will easily be the highest-paid wide receiver in the game’s history. Giants co-owner John Mara has been saying for a couple of years now that he wanted Beckham to be a Giant, if not for his entire career, for a long time.
So, both sides get something they wanted.
Ian Rapoport is reporting that Beckham will get $41 million fully guaranteed and a total of $65 million guaranteed over the life of his five-year extension. He won’t quite average $20 million annually over the life of the deal, which no player other than a quarterback ever has. The way the deal is apparently structured, though, Rapoport said that Beckham will average $20 million annually over its last three seasons.
Beckham’s teammates were happy enough to throw a locker room party for him when the news broke.
WR Hunter Sharp left the locker room party to tell me why Odell's teammates are so happy for his new contract: "I think he deserves it. He's been real humble about it. He's worked his ass off. Just to see him do that is motivation."— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) August 27, 2018
It’s a historic deal that puts Beckham in the league’s top five in guaranteed money. He becomes the highest-paid receiver in terms of annual value, topping Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers ($17 million), and in guaranteed money, topping Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($55 million).
So, an expensive but very good day for the Giants. One that guarantees that, if healthy, the Giants will be able to pair Beckham and Saquon Barkley for several years to come. It makes Beckham, the Giants, his teammates and the fan base happy.
A win all the way around.