It seems like we’re reaching a boiling point in the Odell Beckham-New York Giants relationship.
The Giants aren’t happy that they have to constantly answer questions about Beckham’s behavior (it’s an organization that put up with kicker Josh Brown despite a domestic violence history so maybe the Giants shouldn’t claim some moral high ground, but that’s a story for another day).
And Beckham isn’t happy with the Giants either, because he doesn’t have a contract extension. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Beckham “will not set foot on a field” without a new extension. That goes for the Giants or any team that trades for him. And yes, after owner John Mara’s recent comments about a recent controversial video with Beckham, a trade can’t be ruled out.
There’s a lot to unpack in that report about Beckham not playing without an extension. The timing is certainly curious after the Giants seem fed up with their superstar receiver. Whoever wanted this message out there seems to be telling any potential trade partners that an extension — and Beckham reportedly wants more than $20 million a year — will have to be a part of the deal. It’s also the type of empty threat we hear a lot. No, Le’Veon Bell isn’t retiring because he got another franchise tag, to the surprise of nobody. Though, other players have sat out before so who knows. Though it’s hard to take it too seriously until we hear it from Beckham himself.
Whether or not Beckham will actually sit out games probably isn’t too meaningful of a conversation in March. That’ll get settled down the road. What does matter is that as time goes on, it’s hard to tell if the Giants are more frustrated with Beckham or vice versa. Even that can be fixed. The Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant traded barbs in the media when Bryant was franchise tagged in 2015, then were all smiles the moment he agreed to an extension, for one recent example. The Giants might be fed up with Beckham’s off-field drama, but they also know they can’t replace him. That makes this volatile relationship even more uncomfortable. The Giants need Beckham, which is why they keep putting up with everything else.
It’s not a good situation. Beckham wants a historic contract extension, at the same time the Giants are publicly showing frustration over his behavior. The Giants also have to at least be a little wary of Beckham coming off a broken ankle before they hand him a mega-deal. Meanwhile Beckham, or at least someone who knows him, is tossing out the threat of him sitting out if he’s not given an extension, one day after the team’s owner publicly admonished him. And even if the Giants wanted to trade him, their negotiating leverage couldn’t be at a lower point for a controversial receiver coming off major injury who is in the final year of his contract and has threatened a holdout without an extension. And, by the way, Beckham wants his next contract to be comparable to some of the league’s top quarterbacks.
What a mess.
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