The Giants have said that they want to make Odell Beckham Jr. a member of the organization for life. Beckham has said (indirectly) that he wants a new deal. So what would a new contract signed by the Giants and Beckham right now look like?
A willingness to sign Beckham to a new contract is different from a willingness to sign Beckham to the kind of contract he may want. With two years to go until he is eligible for the franchise tag or the open market, the Giants won’t be willing to pay Beckham the kind of deal he’d currently get on the open market.
Beckham will be trading in two years of injury risk, and roughly $10.2 million in salary. The Giants will factor those dynamics into whatever he’s offered, and unless they’re willing to offer considerably more than $10.2 million over the estimated value of the receiver franchise tag for 2019 (roughly $17.5 million) fully guaranteed at signing, Beckham’s best play could be to go year to year, forcing the Giants to tag Beckham, perhaps exclusively.
The question would then become valuing a long-term deal under the franchise tag, which would give Beckham a 20-percent raise over the tag for 2020 and either a 44-percent raise or the quarterback tag for 2021. Ultimately, Beckham would have to decide whether to carry the injury risk on a year-to-year basis, cashing in like Kirk Cousins until Beckham gets a market-level deal from the Giants or a shot at the open market.
For now, a multi-year deal with at least $30 million fully guaranteed at signing likely would be needed to get Beckham signed sooner than later. Those numbers go up considerably with each passing year — as long as Beckham remains healthy and effective.
Remember when Von Miller signed his next contract last year and the first reaction by many was that J.J. Watt, drafted the same year as Miller, has a bad deal? Watt got his long-term contract after three years, trading the injury risk for the significant payday. Miller had to finish his rookie contract before getting big money.
For Beckham, the question ultimately becomes whether he wants a very good Watt-style deal now or whether Beckham wants to push for a Miller deal in 2019. Beckham’s decision to stay away from OTAs in order to get his next contract suggests that a Watt-style great-but-not-spectacular deal could be in the cards. If Beckham wants something bigger than that, he’s going to have to keep showing up for the next year or two — unless he’s willing to risk the nuclear option of a training-camp holdout, at fines of $40,000 per day.