While star receiver and prince of social media Odell Beckham, Jr skips the New York Giants OTAs, neither the co-owner, John Mara or I are losing sleep over it.
“No, I don’t know where Odell Beckham is,” the Giants’ co-owner and team president told a crowd of 1,500 with a laugh Tuesday night at the team’s Town Hall event exclusive to season-ticket holders in New York City.
Predictably, the first question at Giants’ Town Hall was about Beckham.
A fan asked Mara what the chances of signing Beckham to a long-term extension and whether the team and Beckham’s reps have begun negotiations.
“Not yet,” Mara said with a smile, but quickly added: “Obviously we want him to be a Giant for the rest of his career.”
That’s where things begin. Odell skipping voluntary OTAs isn’t a concern. It isn’t a cause for alarm. He is in California catching balls from a JUGS machine. After all, it is he, OBJ, that caught 101 passes for 1,367 yards, averaged 13.5 yards per reception and scored 10 touchdowns. His current contract will pay Beckham $1.83M in base salary. It is clear Beckham has outperformed his rookie contract. It is also clear OBJ is his team’s biggest star in the NFL’s biggest market. The Giants will take their time and give Beckham a contract that works.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, WFAN radio host Mike Francesa had a heated discussion with a caller about OBJ’s absence from Giants OTAs. Francesa called Beckham “selfish” because he isn’t with his teammates.
“When you don’t have a contract, more power to you (in negotiations),” Francesa said. “I don’t care if you get everything and the Empire State Building on top. Good for you. I’ll be in your corner. But walk away from a contract that you signed? Unh-unh.
“Holding out is not the way to do this,” he added. “It’s divisive to the team. It breaks teams up. And the bottom line is, what’s going to keep him from holding out every single year once he holds out once?
“What does he say to the other players that showed up and took the time to play and show up for all those (practices)? What is his message to them? ‘I’m better than you’?”
Mike has it completely wrong. Odell has outperformed his rookie deal and is the center of the NFL’s marketing campaign. OBJ is the one player everyone tunes into see every Sunday and in due time, Odell will participate at mandatory minicamp later this month.
In the meantime, watch OBJ catch balls from the JUGS machine.