If you hear ticking in the air, it is coming from the Giants’ complex.
With each passing day, the Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. inch closer to a showdown.
Over the next two weeks, the Giants will be in contract talks with Beckham. The game breaker is looking to become the highest paid player in the league, seeking a deal in the range of $ 20 million that would top Antonio Brown’s $17 million.
Despite some questionable off-the-field antics (alleged drug use on a video and a lawsuit involving an alleged beating of a man by his staff), Beckham reported to the team’s off-season workouts without any issues.
He seemingly has a good relationship with new head coach Pat Shurmur along with fellow newcomer GM Dave Gettleman along with his teammates.
But now it is crunch time.
Beckham’s camp has let it be known publicly that he won’t be on the field July 26 without a new long-term contract. A well-paid one.
He is scheduled to make roughly $8.4 million this season in the last year of his current deal. The Giants can slap the franchise tag on him for the next two years and that would cost them in the neighborhood of $43 million, counting this year’s deal.
If they do, however, you’re looking at a walkout.
The Giants can’t pay him $20 without getting into cap trouble. However, they have discreetly released a handful of borderline players lately, perhaps taking the first step to create some cap space.
Earlier this year, I didn’t think the Giants should do the deal. I still have mixed feelings about Beckham and whether he has matured. Former head coach Ben McAdoo recently admitted in a column by Peter King that he regretted not being a better mentor to Beckham
Maybe someone has gotten in his ear and explained how he can be a leader and recapture the city.
If they did, Beckham will listen to a compromise.
He won’t get his $20 million, but the Giants can offer his a three-to-five-year deal in the range of $17 million. They would still have to clear some room.
With the revitalized outlook a new coach, GM, coaches, and players has brought, it would be a good idea to have Beckham in line. A satisfied Beckham with promising Saquon Barkley and other weapons will make it fun again to watch the offense.
Couple that with a retooled defense physically and psychologically, and the Giants are back in the playoff hunt.
Yet, it all comes down to the Giants and Beckham. The clock is ticking.
It’s the difference between a team muddled again in mediocrity and a team headed back to the playoffs.