“New money” fiction becomes a factor in the OBJ negotiations


The concept of “new money” in NFL contracts is, without question, a fiction. But it remains a reality when it comes to assessing what a contract is worth.

Usually, “new money” comes up after the deal is done, with agents leaking the “new money” analysis of the contract to reporters who will pass the information along without scrutiny, because the “new money” analysis typically makes the deal look a lot better. In the case of Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., the standard “new money” game apparently has been turned on its head.

As mentioned by Josh Alper on Monday and as also dissected by Ryan Glasspiegel of TheBigLead.com, it seems obvious that, for a change, the agent isn’t looking at the “new money” analysis. Likewise, the team (which usually never tries to couch the value of the deal in any specific way) seems to be pushing the “new money” concept to the media conglomerate the team partially owns.

The tweets from Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (most specifically this one) make it clear that Beckham’s camp is focusing the value of the deal at signing, which truth be told is the most accurate way to value a contract. When a player gets an extension, it’s not a new contract that gets stapled to the back of the existing one. The old contract gets torn up, any remaining money on that deal gets absorbed into the new one, and a brand new contract is signed.

So if, as the media outlet partially owned by the Giants claims, the team already has offered to make Beckham the highest paid receiver — let’s go with $17.1 million per year, which would put him $100,000 annually ahead of Antonio Brown — and let’s assume that the average applies to every year of the five-year extension that so many teams typically want, the value of the extension would be $85.5 million over those five new years.

Throw in the $8.49 million Beckham is due to make this year, and it becomes a six-year package with a total value of $93.959 million. The average per year on the six-year contract? $15.659 million.

This math meshes with the original claim from Anderson that the Giants have offered Beckham less than the $16 million per year that Sammy Watkins received from the Chiefs.

The broader question is whether the magnitude of the Beckham contract should even land in the ballpark where reasonable minds can differ on the true value of the deal. Is, as Anderson argues, Beckham so “transcendent” a talent that his deal shouldn’t just be slightly worth more than Antonio Brown’s $17 million per year but should blow that contract away?

Antonio Brown would strenuously object, and many others would, too. Really, is Beckham so much better than the current high-end NFL receivers that he should shoot past the current high-water mark under any analysis of the deal?

Regardless of whether you agree with the assessment that Beckham is indeed that much better than his peers, there’s one major impediment to his ability to push the bar as high as he’d like to push it: Beckham isn’t on the open market, and he possibly won’t be for three years.

That’s how a player ends up with a transcendent deal. Talent is only part of it; the player has to get to the open market, forcing a competition among multiple teams for his services, to maximize his compensation.

Alternatively, the player needs to use the leverage at his disposal to get the team to pay him as if he’s on the open market. For Beckham, it means that he should have held out. The fact that he didn’t will make it much harder for him to get paid like he’s on the open market despite being 48 regular-season games away from it.

48 responses to ““New money” fiction becomes a factor in the OBJ negotiations

  1. No dog in the fight, but I think the Giants should let him walk. If he signs a “lesser” deal and has a decent year they will go through the same drama over and over. Too much of a diva.

  2. He isn’t better than AB, and he is a pain to listen to. Does not deserve more than AB, but he’ll eventually get it…

  3. Putting aside who is a “transcedent talent”, eyepopping highlight reel stuff etc…, and instead assuming that the point if the exercise is to win football games and then seasons…when it comes to which player has translated his playing into more of that end result its Brown all day. But also neither has been able to translate that into any sort of championship anything. They just make their local fans feel good. No matter what excuses their fans want to make for why they dont have those resilts, the bottom line is that they don’t.

    On the other hand Julian Edelman, who as a pure reciever cant touch either of those guys not even close, has been a key impact player at the Superbowl level. And Edelman makes far less too, he is paid based on his contribution to the overall result. So in terms of value returned commensurate to percent of cap space Edelman blows both those guys out if the water. Since thats the way it works out it does beget the question as to why either if these guys is worth the cap space. For that much cap space they should be carrying their teams in their backs to the top. There should be no excuses, they should be there.

  4. With reference to the Sammy Watkins deal, I think Sammy should send a thank you note to the Dolphins for skewing his numbers, since the MIA secondary was horrible and allowed HOF numbers for most the games he played in.

  5. OBJs real problem is that Brown didnt got a very good but not a great contract.

    They both are amazing route runners and they both are exceptionally sure handed.
    OBJ is younger but hes hes 3 years from being a free agent. He doesnt have the leverage to get a notably better contract than Brown has.

  6. How many more stories do we need to read about Odell’s contract? Of all the “divas” in the league today, the guy has at least shown up to camp and come to work this year rather than hold out, which is what plenty of other players are currently doing. The media loves pushing non-stories.

  7. Good analysis Florio. I tend to believe he isn’t worth it. Nothing against him or his prima donna attitude involved in that either. I don’t think he is transcendent.

  8. Should have held out? Unlikely a guy with his history was going to get a big contract if he held out – too many times he let down his team. By showing up, he showed he wanted to be a Giant and possibly a complete player capable of doing what is in the interest of the team and winning games. He could have held out, and not gotten a deal, been forced back to work, blown out a knee and never come close to seeing the money he is about to see. Holding could have been disastrous. Now he is never going to have to worry about money again.

  9. I need to be paid the most!! NO , I DO!!!!
    LOL….. So Glad this Diva is the Giants problem…. SO GLAD!!! Destroy that cap space !!!

  10. Easily one of the most overrated players in the league. Give this diva headcase a massive deal with Eli on the decline behind a turnstile offensive line? Sure, what can go wrong?

  11. OBJ isn’t a transcendent talent. He’s a really good WR. Lets be honest about this and not use ridiculous hyperbole.
    He’s not better than all his peers. He’s in the top echelon of WRs, but he’s not #1 by any stretch and he has on field/temper that makes him a liability to his team. He’s also been dragging this contract issue and holding out for too long to think that it won’t be an issue again in another couple years.
    Even when AB was talking about wanting a new deal, he showed up for training camp, worked his butt off and talked to the front office about a new deal and had his agent work on it. Guess what, he put in the time, fulfilled his current contract, became better than his peers and got paid more than his peers. Maybe OBJ should talk to AB to find out his secret.

  12. “Throw in the $8.49 million Beckham is due to make this year, and it becomes a six-year package with a total value of $93.959 million. The average per year on the six-year contract? $15.659 million.”

    But the same thing could be said for Antonio Brown. He got 4 years at 17 mil per year, but factor the year that was remaining on his contract and the average per year on the five year contract is 14.54 million. So the Giants are offering OBJ more new money per year than Brown, and a higher average per year on the total contract.

  13. OBJ’s 8-year projection is far greater than Antonio Brown’s current 8-year tenure in the NFL since, during his first 4 years in the league, OBJ has already amassed a whopping 38 TDs; whereas, during Brown’s first 4 years in Pittsburgh, he registered only 15 TDs lol. Do you blame Brown’s lack of production on Big Ben — the OC/offensive scheme — in the end, it should not matter.

    In order to fairly, comparatively and competitively assess OBJ’s current projected contract worthiness, you must rank him among his 2014 NFL Draft 1st Round wide receiver peers, e.g., Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin. Among this group, only Mike Evans’ stats favorably measure up to OBJ’s 4-year production thus far, with Evans leading in receiving yards and OBJ leading in total TDs. TDs win ball games — just ask HOF’er OchoUno/The Real 81/Terrell Owens haha!

    Big Blue should offer OBJ a 4-year $72M/$42M Guaranteed contract wherein $18M per year puts OBJ in optimal alignment with his No.1 rank among his fellow 2014 draftee/wide receiver peers: 42/72 * 100 = 58.3% Guarantee. Mike Evans’ contract has only a 46.4% guarantee.

    This would make OBJ the highest-paid WR among his draft class, as well as in the NFL, at $18M per year.

  14. Compare Beckham’s first 3 years in the league to Antonio Brown’s first 3 years…hint: it’s not even close.

    There’s no reason to think he wasn’t going to produce in year 4 prior to his injury…

    All this with Eli Manning throwing behind possibly the worst offensive line in the league…Meanwhile Antonio Brown gets the privilege of a Hall of Fame QB throwing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league…No wonder Pittsburg routinely produce successful WRs…Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, Ju Ju…If Brown were worth $17 million a year, why doesn’t he produce without Big Ben…the question that nobody can seem to answer…?

    Contracts always go up in value regardless if the player is better than the top guy at that position…So yes Beckham deserves to be the highest paid WR because he is the best WR!!!

  15. Going back to 2012,,,
    I count 2 top 5 WR’s on Super Bowl teams. (maybe only 1)

    We also all can list all timers (Calvin Johnson) who never came close.

    They are great players and deserving of great money, but (through no fault of their own) transcendental WR’s are not the key to titles.

    Teams need to let the great WR’s walk and use the cap space elsewhere. Including second level WR’s.

  16. He needs that new money so he can get diamonds implanted on the rest of his teeth. (Yes, if you read on TMZ you will see he had diamonds implanted on 2 of his teeth.)

  17. The problem with this thinking is that using Brown as an example goes directly against it.

    The talk of Brown making $17mill per is the new money angle. 4 years. 68mill.

    But, Browns deal was actually 5/72 because it included the remaining year at $4mill and change.

    The average of Browns record breaking deal? 14.4mill. Much less than the reported Beckham numbers.

    And, Beckham is coming off an injury filled season. I’m not a Giants fan but they appear to be in the right ballpark. Obj is the one that’s full of it.

  18. riggo08 says:
    August 7, 2018 at 7:37 am
    No dog in the fight, but I think the Giants should let him walk. If he signs a “lesser” deal and has a decent year they will go through the same drama over and over. Too much of a diva.

    … yeah, right to your team. You people all say the same thing because you want him on your team LOL

  19. He is still under contract.let him sit out the next few seasons if he dont want to honor his contract.

  20. “OBJ’s 8-year projection is far greater than Antonio Brown’s current 8-year tenure in the NFL since, during his first 4 years in the league, OBJ has already amassed a whopping 38 TDs; whereas, during Brown’s first 4 years in Pittsburgh, he registered only 15 TDs lol. Do you blame Brown’s lack of production on Big Ben — the OC/offensive scheme — in the end, it should not matter.”

    You do realize Brown wasn’t a fulltime starter until his 3rd season since he was a 6th round pick, whereas OBJ was a first round pick and immediately came in and started.
    Browns lack of production was due to his development needs and draft stock. In the end, he’s made himself better than any other WR. Without question. OBJ has all the talent in the world and is sitting out. Not a good look.

  21. “If Brown were worth $17 million a year, why doesn’t he produce without Big Ben…the question that nobody can seem to answer…?”

    He does and has produced without Big Ben. The last two times Ben was sidelined and AB started with a QB other than Ben, Landry Jones, he caught 13 passes for 230 yards in those 2 games, 6 and 7 receptions 100+ yards each game respectively. You have to go back to 2015 to find Brown with an unproductive stretch with Ben out and that was with 35 yo Mike Vick who admittedly did not know the offense and was horrendous. The whole offense was unproductive. So please, don’t push an uneducated narrative and make yourself look silly.

  22. Transcendent?? I almost hurt myself laughing…

    Big mistake to to sign this Diva for that long.
    Let him finish his current deal and then sign him for 2 years at a time.
    If he holds out, fine him and keep the money.
    The rookies play under the deal the vets made.
    After his first contract is OVER, he will be one of the vets and entitled to the big bucks.
    This is the setup the players wanted and signed off on. They did not want to give the young guys ALL the money.
    They wanted it (rightfully so) spread around the team more evenly.

  23. If I were the Giants, I would make a fair offer but not break the bank. Let him play out this year and then franchise him for 2019 season. Then let him walk after the 2019 season.

  24. Regarding OBJ specifically, the Giants are probably a year or two, tops, away from a reboot with a new QB, who most likely will not be a high draft pick (they missed their chance for that this year).

    Is that when you want to be paying a receiver $20 million a year, one who may have already played his best football and who hasn’t helped you win a playoff game in 4 seasons? Mara must think they have a shot at another trophy this season to even be considering this.

    As much as NFL-owner billionaire excess repulses me, at some point I think they’re just going to have to say, this is what you’re worth to us, period. Doesn’t matter what someone else is paying their receiver, you can go there when your contract is up. All this restlessness between contracts is crazy.

    Also, for every million that someone like OBJ gets, everyone else on the team has a smaller pie to divide. It’s the guys with a lot less leverage who actually need the money, and empowering the alpha divas to squeeze more isn’t going to help everyone else.

  25. First, I don’t think he’s better than Antonio Brown and the difference in production backs that up. He certainly has talent but he seems more interested in using that talent to act like a little child instead of channeling it into the game. As tough as it seems to swallow, I’d trade him as soon as I got something of value and move on from this knucklehead. He could be a great receiver if he wasn’t such a diva.

  26. The Giants should pull a BB.

    Trade him out of the NFC so his potential impact against you will be lessened.

    Trade him for a package deal:

    get a really good low cost O or D lineman.

    along with a serviceable WR

    and a draft pick that will hopefully be in the top ten.

  27. jman967

    …and how many TDs has Brown caught without Ben?….didn’t think so..#shutup

  28. obj is one of the greatest of his time already.

    as nfl dot com put it during his predraft analysis, “adds plus value as returner.”

    whatever he gets add half of eli’s salary to it.

  29. If you really want to compare him to Antonio Brown then you need to compare their postseason statistics. OBJ doesn’t look to good there.

  30. just get rid of him… draw a line in the sand like the Texans did with Duane Brown. I’m not the Texans biggest fan but occasionally they do something right. Everyone should do it then we wouldn’t have these stories of mega money demands.. but that makes the NFL tick

  31. So you blow up your salary structure and hamstring yourself under the cap to give this guy what he wants, he is the new highest paid receiver in NFL history and he is all smiles. Right away other receivers are going to run to their agents and say “I want what OBJ got” and within a year someones agent will get a team to do something geared specifically to have their guy the new #1 and they are then getting more than OBJ. Do you honestly think OBJ will still be happy or will he just start threatening to hold out if they dont ‘fix it’ by giving him yet more money?

    This is an endless treadmill, better to just not get on it in the first place.

  32. theres a flipside to holding out. what if the team wins games while hes holding out? that diminishes his value not only in his current team’s eyes, but the rest of the nfl as well. the best plan for OBJ is to take his current deal, play as hard as he can, and get paid like AB and Deandre did. this isnt hard guys.

  33. Extensions always need to be sold on the “new Money” because, even if the old contract is torn up, it is still an extension of what is left on it. If he played out his deal & became a FA, this contract would be all “new money” like Sammy Watkins’ deal. So in reality OBJ has 2 options, take an extension (with multiple years of security) and tout how great the “new money” is, or play the year to year game & become an unrestricted FA in 3 seasons, unprotected through those years.
    Guessing he takes extension, with highest new money, but ends up just above Watkins’ $16 mil in total AAV

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