Worst Kept Secret: Giants to Exercise Odell Beckham, Jr.’s Fifth Year Option

The New York Giants will continue their relationship with WR Odell Beckham, Jr. by exercising the fifth year option on his rookie contract. The deadline for teams to exercise the clause, which is offered only to first round draft picks, is May 3 but the Giants have decided not to prolong the inevitable any longer. This way, they can go into this week’s NFL Draft with no contract issues hanging in the balance.

Beckham will earn $1.839 million in base salary this season, his fourth, with a cap hit of $3.311 million. When the Giants extend him out to a fifth season, he will get a significant raise but will still be vastly underpaid considering his production and star value.

“The fifth-year salary of a player selected in the top-10 of the draft is equal to the transition tag in their fourth year. For players selected from picks 11 and 32, it is the average salary of the third to 25th highest paid players at that position (MMQB).”

Beckham was chosen 12th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, meaning he falls into the second group, which is lucky for the Giants and unfortunate for him. The transition tag values are based on the average of the top-10 highest-paid players at the position. Now he will be awarded a salary much lower.

Had Beckham been a top-10 selection, his fifth year option would be worth in the neighborhood of $13 million for the 2018 season. Instead, he will be paid approximately $7-8 million. It’s still a nice haul but not quite what he deserves.

That’s the nature of the business. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Rams exercised DT Aaron Donald’s fifth year option at $6.9 million. Donald was selected one slot behind Beckham in the draft. Tennessee OT Taylor Lewan, taken directly in front of Beckham, has yet to be extended by the Titans.

After Beckham’s current contract expires, the Giants can use the franchise tag to retain him in 2019 and 2020, so it’s understood that he’ll be tangled up in blue for the foreseeable future.

Why the Giants waited so long to act on the option is unknown. GM Jerry Reese likely had no intention of stringing Beckham along but delayed exercising until now. Last week, at his pre-draft presser Reese said the team would address it when the time got closer but he also said, “we will keep all options open.”

Either way, Beckham, and every Giant fan is grateful. For a while there, fans were wondering out loud whether the Giants might be thinking of shopping the sometimes troubled superstar.

Here is Beckham’s reaction after hearing that the Giants were committing to him for the next two, possibly four seasons:

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media