Odell Beckham Jr.

Latest on Odell Beckham Jr., Giants

When Odell Beckham Jr. finally signed his mega-extension with the Giants it seemed like the drama surrounding his antics was finally over. That apparently wasn’t the case, as Beckham caused quite a stir this week with comments he made that were critical of the team. 

First Beckham griped about his role in the offense and how there wasn’t enough downfield action in coach Pat Shurmur’s system, then he wondered aloud if Eli Manning was the problem with the offense, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN. He also refused to say whether or not he was happy being in New York, despite very recently signing the five-year $95MM extension.

Shurmur originally downplayed Beckham’s comments and suggested he was taken out of context, but he apparently had a change of heart, according to Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. Dunleavy writes that Shurmur became “livid” and demanded Beckham apologize to the team. Beckham apparently obliged, and told teammates it was the “wrong message” and wouldn’t happen again.

Separately, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk broke down the situation, and speculated about Beckham’s motives. Florio thinks the public airing of grievances might be “part of Beckham’s strategy, with the goal of getting paid by the Giants and then forcing a trade elsewhere.” If that turns out to be the case, it would be a shocking turn of events after everything had seemingly been smoothed over between Beckham and the team’s front office earlier this summer. The Giants lost another heartbreaker today, dropping them to 1-4, and it will be interesting to see what Beckham has to say moving forward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: OBJ, Mason, Bengals

We have already learned a fair amount about the details of Odell Beckham Jr.‘s new mega-deal with the Giants, but Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv passes along some important information about OBJ’s cap hits. While his contract will provide New York with $3MM of cap relief in 2018, Beckham’s cap number balloons to $21MM in 2019 and will be between $15MM and $19.75MM from 2020 to 2023.

In 2019, then, the Giants could be devoting half of their cap space to just five players, and they are projected to have just $12MM in cap room in 2019 at the moment. That number will increase with several easy cuts and restructures, but Beckham’s contract will force the club to make a few difficult decisions, which Vacchiano explores in greater detail.

Now let’s take a look at a few more notes on recently-signed contracts:

  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports that Shaq Mason‘s extension with the Patriots includes $45MM in new money, a $12MM signing bonus, and $5MM in incentives. He also provides a breakdown of Mason’s guarantees, base salaries, and cap numbers (Twitter links).
  • Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Geno Atkinsextension with the Bengals includes a $13MM signing bonus, which is part of $17MM in guaranteed money. Atkins is also eligible for up to $500K per year in per game active bonuses and workout bonuses. Carlos Dunlap‘s new deal with Cincinnati, meanwhile, features $18MM in guarantees and several sacks escalators. Owczarski also provides the base salaries for both players.
  • Greg Mancz‘s two-year extension with the Texans, which kicks in after the 2018 season, is worth $6MM in total, per NFL insider Adam Caplan (via Twitter).

Latest On Odell Beckham Jr. Deal

The Giants and their top player agreed to a contract extension through 2023. More details on that agreement emerged Wednesday. It may not be as player-friendly as initially advertised, and despite the overall package making the Giants weapon the highest-paid wideout, the early-years cash flow doesn’t place Beckham in front of his top peers.

Odell Beckham Jr. will collect $52.71MM over the first three years of this deal, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adding it amounts to a six-year, $98.459MM deal when considering Beckham’s 2018 fifth-year option season and it tying him to the Giants for five subsequent years. The 25-year-old wideout will collect a $20MM signing bonus that will be fully paid out by February 2019, per Florio.

The first two base salaries on this deal — 2018’s $1.459MM and 2019’s $16.75MM — are fully guaranteed, and Florio adds $12.75MM of Beckham’s $14MM 2020 base is guaranteed for injury and becomes fully guaranteed on Day 3 of the ’20 league year. The same structure is present for the 2021 season; $12.79MM of that base salary guaranteed for injury and all $14.5MM becomes fully guaranteed on Day 3 of the ’21 league year. Beckham’s 2022 and ’23 bases ($13.75MM apiece) are not guaranteed.

Interestingly, the Pro Bowler has $3MM tied to training camp showings in the final three years of the deal. Beckham will receive $1MM if he shows up on Day 1 of training camp from 2021-23, illustrating the Giants are preparing for a possible future holdout if a late-20s version of Beckham decides the future wideout market has made him underpaid. Of course, $1MM penalties might not deter Beckham from a holdout in the event he decides to take that course of action down the road.

Beckham’s $52.71MM over the deal’s first three years is more than $7MM less than initially reported, Florio notes. It appears Mike Evans‘ $55MM over the first three years remains the wide receiver standard. Both Evans and Antonio Brown‘s four-year payments ($68MM) match Beckham’s, leading Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap to be underwhelmed by this agreement for a wide receiver who’s not being paid considerably more than Sammy Watkins. Beckham’s three-year haul is barely half of what Aaron Rodgers will receive in that span ($103MM), Albert Breer of SI.com tweets.

As for OBJ’s incentives, they’re all tied to his 2022 and ’23 seasons. Florio notes he can earn $2.5MM each season based on meeting certain specified statistical benchmarks. These figures, ones that will be tied to Beckham’s production when Eli Manning‘s successor is likely throwing passes, may become moot if Beckham and the Giants agree to a future extension, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Patriots, Jets, Anderson, Donahue, Giants, Beckham

The Patriots are annually one of the toughest teams to gauge heading into September. They often make a few moves right before roster cut-downs, and this year is shaping up to be no different. With a slew of injuries, releases, and retirements to their receiving corps, a move for a veteran wide receiver is a definite possibility.

Whatever happens, it’s clear the Patriots will likely add some players who aren’t currently on the roster before Week 1, whether by trade or free agent signing. With that in mind, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe took a stab at projecting the Patriots‘ roster, and had a few interesting predictions.

It seems to be a consensus now that there is only a single roster spot available for either Jeremy Hill or Mike Gilislee, and Volin thinks Hill will win the battle. Despite being very thin at receiver entering the season, Volin doesn’t think sixth round rookie Braxton Berrios will make the team. He also thinks the team will opt against carrying three quarterbacks this year, cutting rookie seventh-rounder Danny Etling.

Here’s more from the league’s Eastern divisions:

  • One final note on Odell Beckham Jr.’s record deal with the Giants, the base value is actually only $90MM not $95MM according to Albert Breer of SI.com (Twitter link). The deal contains $5MM in incentives in the final two years of the deal that could push the total value to $95MM.
  • Receiver Robby Anderson and linebacker Dylan Donahue haven’t been suspended yet, but neither Jets player is out of the woods, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter link). “Both cases remain under review” writes Cimini. Anderson was arrested multiple times this offseason and Donahue, a 2017 fifth-rounder, was arrested twice for DWI.
  • In case you missed it, the Patriots signed guard Shaq Mason to a huge five-year extension worth up to $50MM.


Giants, OBJ Agree To Extension

The Giants and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr are closing in on a five-year mega-extension, according to Ian Rapoport and Kim Jones of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’s a five-year extension worth up to $95MM with $65MM guaranteed overall, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The value of Beckham’s new deal is $90MM over the five added years, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. That’s $18MM per year in new money – or $19MM/year, if counting the potential incentives. Either way, it’s the highest average annual value for any receiver in the NFL. Beckham also gets $41MM fully guaranteed at signing, plus another $24MM in injury guarantees for a total of $65MM in guarantees.

The deal is a big win for Beckham across the board, as he leads wide receivers in AAV, total guarantees, and full guarantees at signing. Previously, Antonio Brown‘s $17MM per year represented the annual standard for receivers, and Mike Evans‘ $55MM in total guarantees and $38.25MM in full guarantees were the statistical chart-toppers.

In terms of the average annual value on the “new money,” OBJ is now the highest-paid receiver in NFL history. He’ll also collect about $60MM within the first three years of the deal.

The two sides have wrestled over the extension for some time. Although OBJ is one of the most talented receivers in the game, he missed the majority of the 2017 season with injury and the Giants had concerns about his maturity. This offseason, Beckham flirted with the idea of a training camp holdout, but ultimately showed up for work and impressed team brass.

I see what I expected to see when we started to communicate back in February,Shurmur said in February. “This guy loves to play football, he trains extremely hard, he’s totally engaged in the meetings behind the scenes, the things that the world is not aware of, and he’s got a lot of passion for the game. We were just out in a walk-through and I saw three or four times when he was talking to different players about certain techniques within the play. That’s all good stuff.”

The 2014 first-round pick was limited to only four games last season and finished with just 25 receptions for 302 yards and three scores. However, he finished the previous three campaigns with at least 1,300 receiving yards.

At 25 (26 in November), Beckham is four years younger than Brown, and he’s outproduced the other members of his class on a per-year basis. The Giants paid a pretty penny to lock up the three-time Pro Bowler through 2023, but it will be worthwhile if he plays up to his ability.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants, Odell Beckham Jr. Optimistic Deal Will Be Done Before Season

One of the least contentious negotiations involving high-profile 2014 draftees may be headed toward a long-term resolution before the regular season starts.

Inside of three weeks until the Giants begin their season, they are making progress on a landmark deal for Odell Beckham Jr., Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reports. Both sides, per Raanan, are optimistic they can complete the extension agreement before the regular season begins.

The expectation, understandably so, continues to be that this accord will set a new standard for wide receivers.

The Giants wanted to see if their superstar wideout bought into Pat Shurmur‘s new program, per Raanan, and he responded by not waging a minicamp or training camp holdout. They also wanted to see him show he was recovered from the broken ankle he suffered early last season, and Beckham is on track to return from his that setback and play against the Jaguars in Week 1. He may do so — after a year and a half of being extension-eligible — on a historic contract.

Antonio Brown‘s $17MM per year represents receivers’ annual standard, and Mike Evans‘ $55MM guaranteed sits atop that financial category’s hierarchy. Most of the other notable wideouts from the 2014 draft class — Evans, Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, Brandin Cooks — have since signed their second contracts, and Beckham almost certainly won’t sign for less than his peers have. At 25, the three-time Pro Bowler is four years younger than Brown, and he’s outproduced the other members of his class on a per-year basis.

The Giants and their top weapon began negotiations in late July, and although Beckham didn’t play in Big Blue’s first two preseason games, he took part in joint practices with the Lions last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Rookie Scale, McCoy, Bills, Beckham, Giants, Donald, Rams

Roquan Smith still isn’t signed. The eighth overall pick in this year’s draft is the last remaining unsigned pick, and there’s no end in sight to the impasse between the linebacker and the Bears. Although issues like total guaranteed money and signing bonuses are predetermined in rookie contracts, things like offsets and when guarantees will void can still be haggled over.

To help better understand the process, Andrew Brandt of SI.com took a look at the rookie contract process, and spoke with a handful of agents. Brandt, a former Packers executive, writes that it’s a “system tilted heavily toward management” and that the players have little leverage now due to the 2011 CBA. Brandt writes that teams have become “emboldened” by their newfound power in negotiating rookie deals, and that “teams like the Bears are looking to invalidate future guarantees based on discipline for on-field conduct.”

 The Bears want to be able to void guaranteed money from Smith’s contract if he were suspended for on-field conduct like an illegal hit, and Smith is fighting back. It will be fascinating to see how the situation plays out. Here’s more from around the league:

  • The ex-girlfriend of LeSean McCoy issued a new statement yesterday, saying that she is still waiting for “justice to be served.” McCoy has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has not yet been punished by either the Bills or the NFL.
  • Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t play in the Giants’ preseason opener, but his absence had nothing to do with his contract. Although the two sides are still negotiating a contract extension which should make OBJ the highest paid receiver in the game, coach Pat Shurmur said he wasn’t going to play his star in the first game anyway, according to Tom Rock of Newsday.
  • Aaron Donald missed the August seventh deadline to report and will become a restricted free agent after the season, but the deadline was mostly irrelevant writes former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports. Since the Rams will certainly franchise tag Donald if the two sides can’t agree on an extension, it doesn’t really matter whether he’s a restricted or unrestricted free agent after this year, and there was no reason for Donald to report.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Beckham, Eagles

Derrius Guice‘s injury delivers a considerable setback to the Redskins‘ running back corps, to the point they may have to consider adding a veteran to the mix. But Jay Gruden did not confirm the team will go in this direction, pointing to the second-round Guice selection being a best-player-available move rather than a need pick.

We have guys here that can play,” Gruden said Saturday. “We drafted Derrius because he was the best player, we thought, at the time of the draft … not because we weren’t satisfied with the backs we have.”

The primary Redskins starters the past two years, Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine, remain on the team and are now set to be the team’s early-down backs. Passing-down specialist Chris Thompson, though he’s not yet fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered midway through last season, will reprise his role in 2018. Neither Kelley nor Perine surpassed 3.5 yards per carry last season, but Washington’s offensive line became significantly limited by injuries as the season progressed. Kelley fared much better in 2016.

Here’s the latest from the rest of the NFC East:

  • A day after Guice’s injury severity became known, the Redskins are concerned about 2017 sixth-round pick Robert Davis. The team fears its second-year wide receiver suffered a torn ACL, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Davis will head in for an MRI later today, per Garafolo. The Georgia State alum was expected to play a bigger role in Year 2 after playing in just one game as a rookie.
  • The Giants‘ reasoning behind sitting Odell Beckham Jr. in the preseason opener stemmed from his injury recovery, not his contract situation, per Pat Shurmur. “I want to be smart with his recovery coming back [from ankle surgery],” Shurmur said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “I never intended to play him in this game. I didn’t reveal that to [the public], but I never intended to.” Beckham has not experienced a known setback in his recovery from last season’s ankle injury. He encountered ankle trouble during the preseason against the Browns last year, spraining his left ankle barely a month prior to fracturing it.
  • The subject of Rasul Douglas moving to safety surfaced at Eagles practice, but the coaching staff shot that down, Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Philly lost Patrick Robinson and has Ronald Darby going into a contract year, so it would make sense Douglas stays at corner. Philadelphia’s staff still believes Douglas can have a quality career as a corner, although Kapadia adds he has not progressed like the team was hoping going into his second season.
  • Donnel Pumphrey may be in his final days as an Eagle, with Kapadia pointing out the “lower body” injury he suffered in the defending Super Bowl champions’ preseason opener may put him too far behind the other combatants in a hotly contested race to make the 53-man roster as the No. 4 running back. Wendell Smallwood, Matt Jones and rookie UDFA Josh Adams comprise the rest of that race, and Kapadia adds that Jones may be behind the other two after the Eagles’ first preseason game. The Eagles gave Adams a sizable guarantee to sign after the draft.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Eagles, OBJ

Redskins running back Samaje Perine could be a trade candidate, as ESPN.com’s John Keim writes. The Redskins have a surplus of running backs, with Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson as their lead rushers. Rob Kelley was once thought to be on the bubble, but coaches say that he looks quicker this summer than he has in previous years. The Redskins also seem to be eyeing Byron Marshall or Kapri Bibbs as their third-down back, which could leave Perine as the odd man out.

The Oklahoma product drew a great deal of attention in the 2017 draft, so other teams could be interested in giving him a shot. The Redskins, meanwhile, could net a future draft choice for him if they are comfortable enough with the rest of the group.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Within the aforementioned piece, ESPN.com’s Tim McManus suggests that Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas could wind up on the block. There hasn’t been a ton of talk about Douglas being traded, but the Eagles have plenty of cornerback options and could afford to part with Douglas for the right offer. The former third-round choice out of West Virginia offers good size with his 6’2″, 209-pound frame and could hold some appeal for other clubs. McManus notes that the Eagles also could deal from their surplus receivers and offensive linemen.
  • On Monday, we heard conflicting reports regarding the negotiations between Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants. One report indicated that the Giants are offering OBJ less than Sammy Watkins‘ average annual value of $16MM/year. Later, we heard that the Giants are willing to make OBJ the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. The discrepancy likely comes from different interpretations of the same offer, as Mike Florio of PFT writes. In an unusual role reversal, it seems that the team is evaluating the offer based on the new money average, while the player’s agent is going off of the cumulative average, which includes Beckham’s 2018 salary of $8.49MM. In theory, the Giants’ offer to Beckham could be a five-year, $85.5MM deal, which would give him a league-leading $17.1MM new money average. However, if the 2018 salary is included, that would give him an average of $15.659MM. Reading between the lines, it sounds as though OBJ’s team could be looking to top Antonio Brown‘s AAV including the current year, which would be a very lofty goal.

OBJ, Giants Progressing Toward Extension

A new contract for wideout Odell Beckham Jr. could be right around the corner. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the receiver’s agent, Zeke Sandhu, and the Giants have “engaged in good-faith negotiations” that would make Beckham the highest-paid wideout in the NFL. While a deal isn’t expected to be finalized in the coming days, Rapoport says the two sides are “encouraged” that a deal could be finalized before the start of the regular season.

We learned yesterday that OBJ was optimistic about a new deal, but reports from today indicated that the Giants’ offer may have been relatively underwhelming. New York’s reported offer would have paid Beckham a lower average annual salary than Sammy Watkins, which our own Zach Links says would be south of $16MM. If Beckham is going to be the highest-paid player at this position, he’d have to earn more than the $17MM that Antonio Brown is set to make in his extension with the Steelers.

The 25-year-old is set to earn a bit less than $8.5MM in his fifth-year option season, meaning he could be looking to double his salary in 2019. For what it’s worth, the wideout previously acknowledged that he may have to sacrifice some money for long-term security, which could be an indication that Beckham is willing to give the Giants a slight discount if they sign him to a longer deal. If OBJ doesn’t sign an extension with the organization, the Giants could realistically control the receiver for more two additional seasons via the franchise tag.

The 2014 first-round pick was limited to only four games last season, finishing with 25 receptions for 302 yards and three scores. However, there’s no denying his talent, as he finished the previous three campaigns with at least 1,300 receiving yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.