John Mara gushes about OBJ, loses all leverage in the process

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Giants co-owner John Mara has handed a proverbial blank check to receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

As Beckham closes in on his second NFL contract (and possibly stayed away from offseason workouts in an effort to make it clear that he wants one), Mara has offered an assessment of Beckham that will serve only to add zeros to his next deal.

“Listen, he’s as exciting a player as we have had on this team in my lifetime, and he brings a lot of energy, a lot of big plays to us,” Mara told Steve Serby of the New York Post. “And when you cut through everything else, he actually is a really good kid. He does a lot of wonderful things off the field that people don’t know about. He needs to work on controlling his emotions a little bit more. But when he is on the field, the other teams have to pay attention to him . . . and he strikes fear into the eyes of the other team. As long as you have that ability, he makes your team better. He just adds a lot to us. We really haven’t had a player like that here for a long time.”

The Giants apparently intend to keep Beckham there for a long time. At some point, then, they’ll need to sign him to that new contract. Before that can happen, the contract needs to be negotiated. Mara was asked about the status of the talks.

“They haven’t begun as of yet, but . . . they’ll happen at the appropriate time,” Mara said. “I don’t think we have a time frame on it. But we certainly don’t want to see him playing in another uniform.”

Mara also was asked whether a contract could come during the season.

“That’s possible, yeah,” Mara said. “I wouldn’t have a problem with that occurring. We certainly want to get him signed. Let’s not make it the headline that there’ll be a deal by October or November or something like that because I have no idea. I don’t think we’d be opposed to talking to his agents at some point during the season, yes.”

The Giants presumably want to be sure that Beckham is indeed maturing before making a long-term commitment.

“I think he’s a work in progress, I think he’s going to mature,” Mara said. “I had a great conversation with him in the spring about that. I think he understands that. But he’s always going to be an emotional player, and we’re going to have to live with, hopefully, an occasional and rare outburst every once in a while because he wants to win so badly. But I think he is going to mature. He’s 24 years old.”

Mara is right. And the Giants also are smart to wait a while before giving him the kind of money that reflects full confidence in his maturity. Even if it’s really not all that smart to hype him as a player before getting that deal done, since those quotes from Mara surely will be placed on a laminated card and handed to the Giants’ negotiators at the outset of the first face-to-face session.

34 responses to “John Mara gushes about OBJ, loses all leverage in the process

  1. Pretty ridiculous to say Giants lost their leverage. They still control OJB for the next 3 years if they want and he can do nothing about it.

  2. When you’re the one signing the checks, you don’t ever lose leverage. If OBJ balks at the offer, a bottom-tier team will be more than happy to give him a max-money contract, with a near-zero chance of winning anything. Do you want the cash, or do you want to win a ring? As long as owners know this is the dilemma facing a player, they will always have the leverage.

  3. What leverage did he lose?

    He stated the obvious about Odell.

    Team still has the Option Year and at least 2 tags that would make huge economic sense. That’s the team’s leverage.

  4. Pls explain how someone that has exclusive rights to him and signs the checks has lost ANY leverage?

    The GIANTS are known as one of the few NFL teams that actually give their players real deals that often fully reach, not fake 5 year deals that are really 2 year deals.

    Odell is not going anywhere.

    I also love how people are like, well, he is a problem guy.


    When is the last time he did 100mph in a 65mph zone?
    When is the last time he hit his girlfriend?
    When is the last time he slugged a bouncer in a nightclub?

    The answer is never to all of those.

  5. He is really the only personality on their team and may be the face of the NFL from the view of young fans. He will get a Quarterback sized contract that will kick in when Eli retires in a year or two.

  6. Kirk Cousins has revolutionized the way contracts will be negotiated….

    Any agent who has a client that can play at a high level….is a fool if the negotiations don’t begin at the franchise tag figure….

    thanks Kirk for raising the bar for all NFL players…

  7. I think the CB that made him cry last year has all the leverage over OBJ.

    Just ask Xavier Rhodes.

  8. The Giants love OBJ and OBJ loves the Giants. As a Giants fan thats all I care about….the money thing will work itself out.

  9. Reality of OBJ negotiations:

    Mara: What is the highest contract ever for a WR in the NFL? We’ll beat it.

    Agent: Pleasure doing business with you.

  10. wait so you want Mara to down OBJ and in turn make him upset and want to leave?? guess we’ve got to have a spin on every comment to make it news and click worthy

  11. That’s a pittsburgh educated West Virginian lawyer for ya.

    Seriously… if you think complimenting/gushing someone ruins your leverage when you hold the money… you need to hang your jd in a gas station restroom.

    You could compliment/gush as a way of highlighting a persons ability/character to increase their potential trade value (even if I felt the guy was a lowlife).

    You could gush all day about a guy who obviously wants to live like a king in NYC while leaking possible trades with Buffalo.

    No leverage?!?
    Gimme a break!!!

  12. Usually uncoverable one on one. Forces D to know where he is on every play. Destroys zone coverage. Everyone else gets single coverage. There are a handful of other WR’s who have the same effect. Will get a huge contract and be a Giant for life. As long as he doesn’t get hurt.

  13. squackduckhawk says:
    Jul 27, 2017 12:35 PM
    This dude has made a tremendous amount of money off of 1 catch. He is a good receiver, but I would take a lot of guys over him.

    1 Catch? Seriously? You think he is who he is simply based on that 1 catch? There arent “a lot” of guys you’d take over him unless you dont watch football. Gimme a break man.

  14. Complimenting somebody you want to make a deal with can significantly help negotiations, especially when that person is oversensitive like OBJ. People tend to get defensive during negotiations, so opening up with a compliment is probably a great idea in this situation.

  15. squackduckhawk says:
    Jul 27, 2017 12:35 PM
    This dude has made a tremendous amount of money off of 1 catch. He is a good receiver, but I would take a lot of guys over him.


    No hes made a tremendous amount of money for smashing every record by a WR for their first 3 years in the NFL..

  16. This is an old Irish trick. Mara’s gushing about him so that if Odell doesn’t take reasonable terms, he looks greedy.

    He’s basically saying, “You know what you’re worth, we know what you’re worth. Let’s just do the Giants thing, be family, and get it done.”. This puts any obstacles that come along the way squarely on Odell. If Mara never low-balls, Odell looks bad when he high-balls.

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