Odell Beckham Jr. is looking for a big deal from the Giants. That’s why he’s willing to report to OTAs even without a new contract in place.
Dave Gettleman has a reputation as one of the toughest negotiating general managers in the NFL. Odell Beckham Jr. and his representatives clearly understand that. That’s why the talented wide receiver plans to show up to the team’s OTAs next week.
Beckham Jr. has made zero secret that he’s looking for a new contract that will pay him at least $20 million per season. That would make him the highest paid receiver in the NFL. Predictably, Gettleman has refused to make any public comment regarding what the team will or won’t offer the electric wideout.
Beckham Jr. and his team deserve credit for approaching the situation proactively. He isn’t under any obligation to show up to OTAs. Aside from them being well, optional, it’s also a risk for him to participate without a new contract in place. He’s slated to make just under $8.5 million in this, the last year of his rookie contract. If he gets injured during OTAs then the Giants are under zero obligation to compensate him for his trouble.
The decision to attend OTAs is a clear attempt for Beckham to build some good will with the team’s front office. It remains to be seen whether the gesture will do anything to bring Gettleman to the negotiating table. It might soften his stance a bit, but it’s still very likely the Giants GM will wait to see Beckham in a meaningful game before he enters into serious contract negotiations.
That policy isn’t likely to engender any positive feelings with Beckham or his representatives. They understandably believe that the receiver’s track record prior to his injury is sufficient to prove to Giants officials he is worth a massive payday. That’s not an opinion Gettleman seems likely to share.
In the end, Beckham’s decision to attend OTAs may end up driving a wedge between he and the team’s front office. If Gettleman doesn’t respond with some sort of meaningful concession, it could lead the player to hold out when training camp begins. This situation will require a lot of attention as the Giants head towards their 2018 season.