By Matt Citak
Odell Beckham Jr.’s contract situation has been a topic of discussion this offseason after the star wide receiver skipped out on the Giants’ voluntary workouts last month.
When he finally did show up to the team’s OTAs, he would not reveal details on what he is looking for in a new contract, instead telling reporters he was going to “leave that in the hands of the man above.”
Well, on Thursday, the day the Giants reported to training camp, Beckham finally decided to open up about what he is hoping for in his next contract. In a video for Uninterrupted, the 24-year-old receiver said he is hoping to become the highest paid player in the NFL.
“It’s like the elephant in the room,” Beckham said about his contract. “And you know you don’t want to talk about it, but I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’m like, ‘No, I’m going to, there’s no need to not talk about it.’ I believe that I will be, hopefully not just the highest-paid receiver in the league, but the highest paid, period.”
Beckham is set to make $1.84 million this season in what is the fourth-year of his rookie contract. After the Giants picked up his fifth-year option earlier this offseason, the wide receiver will earn a $8.46 million salary next season.
In order to be the highest paid player in the entire league, Beckham would have to receive a contract that pays him an annual salary of slightly more than $25 million. That seems extremely unlikely to happen. During the offseason, Antonio Brown became the NFL’s highest paid wide receiver when he signed a contract extension that pays him roughly $17 million per season.
Both receivers are extremely talented and are easily among the best in the league. Brown has put up slightly better numbers than Beckham over the last three years, but New York’s top target has the advantage of being four and a half years younger than Brown. While that might set him up to get a larger contract than the 29-year-old Steeler, there is basically a zero percent chance that Beckham will earn $8 million more per season than Pittsburgh’s five-time Pro Bowl receiver.
Regardless of what he might want, Beckham still has two years left on his contract, meaning the Giants are not obligated to open up negotiations with their electrifying star right now. New York could choose to wait until next offseason before beginning talks with his agents. However, Giants co-owner John Mara recently told the New York Post that he would not be against talking to Beckham’s camp during the season in order to try to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
“That’s possible, yeah,” Mara said Thursday. “I wouldn’t have a problem with that occurring. We certainly want to get him signed. Let’s not make it the headline that there’ll be a deal by October or November or something like that because I have no idea. I don’t think we’d be opposed to talking to his agents at some point during the season, yes.”