With training camp set to kick off in less than two weeks time, the Giants and Beckham both find themselves at a proverbial fork in the road.
It’s in no way hyperbole to say that this year’s training camp is of the utmost importance for Beckham. With him coming off a season-ending ankle injury, how Beckham performs this summer will go a long way in him reestablishing himself as one of the NFL’s elite receivers. The fallout of how he does will go hand-in-hand with the Giants desire to grant Beckham a lucrative extension—which is something the Giants have deliberated on since the 2017 season ended.
Can Odell Beckham, Jr. and the New York Giants Get Closer to a Long-Term Deal This Summer?
While Beckham and the Giants’ team brass in the past have had a contentious relationship, there is no doubting the pure ability that Beckham possesses and what he brings to the football field. The Giants obviously know this and realize his importance to their aging quarterback Eli Manning. It will be hard for the Giants to not want to lock up the services of Beckham regardless of his well-known antics on the field.
Even though Beckham endured a damaging and worrisome injury, he has looked no worse for the wear this spring and summer.
Check him out on these routes.
— LWOSports (@lwosports) July 3, 2018
In a nutshell, the above video is just your typical Beckham spectacle, complete with jaw-dropping moves added with a pizzazz only Beckham can provide. It’s like he never got injured.
Manning has noticed how spry and athletic Beckham has looked of late and Manning said he expects the Beckham of old.
More from Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com:
“Odell looked healthy,” Manning said during an appearance at the Offense-Defense Football Camp on behalf of the Gatorade Beat The Heat program at Kean University. “He was running routes full speed, making cuts and seemed to be his old self. So I’m excited about that and that he can go out there and run all the routes.
“So, excited to get him back going once training camp hits up. And getting on the same page, there are always new routes and new tweaks to the offense. But I know he’s been working hard and is going to have a big year.”
So far this off-season, Beckham has played the part of the good soldier. He is saying all the correct things while trying to remain in the good graces of the Giants’ organization. Beckham has repeatedly stated that he is not planning on holding out and that he will report to camp when the Giants reconvene at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on July 26.
The relationship between Beckham and the Giants has to be a two-way street of honesty and compliance. The line of communication has to be open, honest, respectful and transparent. It would be best for all parties to not let Beckham’s contract negotiations become a circus and railroad the season before it even begins— especially with the season the Giants are coming off of (3-13).
Now is Beckham worth all the money he wants? He reportedly wants to be compensated in the range of $20 million a year. Should the Giants give him such a contract? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
That is not the main point.
However, if it was up to former coach Ben McAdoo, the Giants should no doubt lock Beckham up long term.
“Try scoring points without him,” McAdoo said (per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). “It’s tough.’’
More from the Post:
“First of all, I got no idea what they’re planning to do, how he looks, if he’s healthy,’’ McAdoo told The Post. “That’s a very, very touchy subject. I would say the young man has done everything he can do to earn it. Unfortunately, he got hurt at the worst time you can get hurt, that’s the tough part about it.
“I love him. He’s a competitor, he’s a fiery, tough, loves playing, loves his teammates. They’re not gonna let him out of there. They’ll find a way to get it done. It makes too much sense to get it done.’’
Whether Beckham is worth the money—again—is not the main underlying point here. It’s all about proving worth to each other this camp with mutual respect, dignity, and class. There is going to be some give and take all July and August and the optics of how it will proceed will be the telling storyline.
How the two parties conduct business and not let distractions get in the way is of the utmost importance to team morale. Considering the Giants are coming off a very humbling season along with wanting to get their offense jump started with the return of Beckham in addition to the exciting addition of Saquon Barkley, they need things to run smoothly this summer.
In the end, the extension talks will get resolved one way or another. It’s now up to Beckham and the Giants to let that process play out naturally and distraction free.