It appears that Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. won’t play again this season. Next season therefore becomes the biggest question for player and team.
Beckham has one year left on his rookie deal, an injury-guaranteed salary of $8.459 million for 2018. But Beckham, who was reluctant to say that his absence from voluntary workouts arose from his desire to get a new deal, eventually said he wants to be the highest paid player in all of football.
With that bar at $27 million and rising, Beckham surely will never get there, unless he plays the year-to-year game of tag to its logical conclusion and forces his way to the open market. He’d need to play at least four more years to get there, however. Based on his broken ankle, Beckham won’t want to wait that long to get his financial reward.
But the Giants also may want to wait before paying Beckham, waiting to see whether Beckham can be the guy he’s been after the ankle heals. Which could create an impasse, with Beckham wanting to wait for his deal to play again and the Giants wanting to wait to see him play before giving him a new deal.
The Giants could decide to move now, offering Beckham great but not spectacular money at a time when he may be feeling a certain amount of despair. The better move arguably would be to give Beckham some time to process what has happened, but eventually to give him his contract before he has to do anything more to prove himself.
However it unfolds, Beckham may not be inclined to play out the last year of his rookie deal. If the Giants want to keep him for the long haul, they shouldn’t make him do it. If they do, Beckham’s next move could be to play the year-to-year game of tag, potentially forcing his way to the open market and to a team with a franchise quarterback who is Beckham’s age, or younger.