Don’t be surprised if relations between the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. start to go south. The team’s opening contract offer isn’t what OBJ wanted.
Odell Beckham Jr. and his representatives hoped his willingness to be a full participant in training camp without a new contract would earn some goodwill with the Giants organization. Apparently the tactic didn’t work. The Giants’ initial offer to Beckham is well below what his value would be on the open market.
In fairness to Dave Gettleman and company, good negotiators don’t make their best offer right off the bat. Perhaps their tactic was to open talks with a low bid in hopes of lowing the receiver’s initial salary demands. Beckham has made no secret of his desire to become the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL.
Offering Beckham a contract that would pay him less than Sammy Watkins is not a positive step in that direction. The Chiefs handed the former Clemson star a three-year, $48 million deal this offseason despite his inconsistent career as a professional. He has the talent to be an All-Pro wideout, but he hasn’t accomplished anything close to what Beckham has achieved in the NFL.
The good news for Giants fans is that, by all accounts, the two sides are still talking. Submitting such a shockingly low offer right off the bat was a significant risk for the Giants front office. It was very possible their mercurial wide receiver could have elected to leave training camp immediately after receiving such an insulting offer. That still could happen, but initial indications are that Beckham Jr. is staying put.
What the Giants need to do now is to get serious with their contract offers. They clearly don’t want to pay Beckham Jr. the $20 million per season he’d like to earn, but they’ll need to get close to that number to lock him down for the long haul. The longer they try to sign him on the cheap, the higher the chances of him ultimately leaving the franchise become.
Gettleman has a reputation for being a tough negotiator and that caused a lot of hard feelings between he and his best players in Carolina. It looks as if he’s headed down the same path in New York. The team needs to make Beckham a legitimate offer soon. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing one of the game’s most dangerous offensive weapons.