NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Odell Beckham Jr. expected to be paid and on Monday the Giants granted him his wish.
The Giants announced on Monday that Beckham agreed to a five-year, $95 million contract extension, which will pay him an average of $20 million per season over the first three years of the deal. He will receive $65 million guaranteed, the most guaranteed money for a wide receiver in NFL history.
Beckham had said throughout the offseason he wanted to be the highest paid player in the league, and that was despite missing the final 11 games of the 2017 season due to a leg injury. The 25-year-old is now the highest-paid receiver, eclipsing the $17 million per season the Pittsburgh Steelers are paying Antonio Brown. Beckham’s guaranteed money easily surpasses the $55 million the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave to Mike Evans back in March.
“Honestly, I don’t even know how to explain it,” Beckham told the Giants official website. “I don’t know if it’s a relief, I don’t know – it’s a combination of everything. You’ve worked all your life to get to this point and it’s finally here. I have to thank Mr. Mara, Steve Tisch, Mr. Gettleman, coach (Pat) Shurmur, Eli (Manning), all the guys I played with in the past years. Everybody was really a part of this — my mom, my dad, my family, everybody who was supporting me through this. It’s just such an amazing feeling, I can’t even explain. Most importantly, I have to thank God for being able to put me back together mentally, physically, spiritually. This is just truly amazing; I don’t even know the right words to describe.
“It was just a time of patience and waiting and I knew that it would get done, it just was a matter of when and I’m just so happy that it is finally done now,” Beckham added.
Selected No. 12 in the first round of the 2014 draft out of LSU, Beckham has been a prolific player, recording 313 receptions, 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns in just 47 career games. He is the only player in NFL history to begin his career with three seasons of at least 90 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards.
Prior to agreeing to the contract, Beckham appeared prepared to play out the final year of his rookie deal, which would have paid him $8.4 million. The extension agreement reworks Beckham’s 2018 contract into a $1.459 million salary with a $20 million signing bonus. The Giants will save $3 million against the cap, ESPN reported.
Fans who flocked to NFL shops to buy Odell Beckham jerseys and other Giants gear say they liked the move.
“They lock him up in his best years and get him that’s probably what he should be getting paid,” Adam LaMarca said.
“We had to keep him and I think it would have been a mistake to pass on him now and let him succeed somewhere else,” Liam Hark said.
Traditionally a very conservative franchise, the Giants clearly understood the price of doing business in today’s NFL. Beckham has a history of questionable behavior both on and off the field, but that didn’t stop New York from financially satisfying a talent that is among the best in the sport, regardless of position. The Giants did at one point consider trading their best player, but it appears Beckham showing up for all stages of offseason workouts and then reporting for training camp without incident was enough to convince them to move forward with what is perhaps the most significant investment in franchise history.
“As I have said, I think Odell personally is moving in the right direction,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “He came to camp with a tremendous attitude, with a smile on his face and worked hard and reminded us of his unique abilities. He’s ready to have a great season and we’re ready for him to have a great season.”
Some fans say the star wideout still has some growing up to do.
“He needs to be on his best behavior,” one fan said.
Despite not appearing in a single game this preseason, Beckham is considered healthy and ready for the 2018 regular season.
The Giants are coming off a 3-13 disaster of a season that was punctuated by Beckham’s injury in Week 5. However, Big Blue, on paper anyway, looks like they could be potent offensively in 2018.
“The offense seems to be amazing,” Beckham said. “I feel like we’re going to be able to put up a lot of points and do it in a bunch of different ways. We have so many explosive playmakers on this team. Evan Engram, (Sterling) Shep(ard), Cody (Latimer), Saquon (Barkley). The O-line is playing at a high level, they look very together, and it’s time for Eli to bring us home. It’s time for him to bring us back to what we all dream of doing, which is winning a Super Bowl, so the goals are never going to change, it’s just that time to go is now.”
The Giants’ regular season kicks off September 9th at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.