While Odell Beckham Jr. might be the most talented player in the game, his current contract says otherwise
The New York Giants are reeling, following an injury-riddled 3-13 regular season last year. Heading in the offseason this year, their most pressing assignment is retaining Pro Bowl wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. It’s rumored that the Giants are actually open to trading the star-studded receiver this offseason, despite the production Odell has produced on the field. Desperately seeking to reboot their roster and find success this offseason, the Giants have made known to NFL teams Odell Beckham Jr. is available, at a price, this offseason.
Beckham is set to make just a shade over $800,000 this upcoming season in the final stage of his five-year rookie deal. Next season, the LSU product is an unrestricted free agent and has already expressed a desire to be the highest paid NFL player. Giants general manager John Mara showed his hand too early, with word breaking all over Twitter as early as June that he wanted to retain the 25-year-old wide-out:
“We want Odell to be a Giant the rest of his career,” said Mara, “I mean we’re certainly not shopping him if that’s what you’re asking. But when you’re coming off a season where you’re 3-13 and played as poorly as we did, I wouldn’t say anyone is untouchable,”
This begs the question: where would Beckham go? However, the better inquiry is if he should ever be considered to be moved in the first place.
Since the earth-shattering catch made against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, when Beckham tossed aside a defensive back to make a spectacular one-handed grab while falling backward into the end zone, his stats have since backed up the gravitas that seems to follow him, with 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns through 47 games. For comparison, Randy Moss racked up 4,121 yards in his first 47 games. When compared to the draft class he entered, the contrast becomes starker. Sammy Watkins has 3,052 yards and 25 touchdowns in 52 games while Mike Evans needed 61 games to reach 4,479 yards and 32 scores (both receivers were taken ahead of Beckham at 12).
Beckham is the centerpiece of a very thin offense, which desperately needs talent on the roster. At wide receiver, the Giants have B-level role players and aging veterans on both sides of the ball. Despite the crop of running back talent in the NFL sitting at maybe its richest ever, New York still has no reliable running back at the helm. Then at quarterback, if Eli Manning is still the signal caller, he desperately needs Beckham to remain startable. But, it begs the question, even if this is the next step for the Giants, the young wide receiver will make a perfect pairing for the next franchise passer.
Even with the tight wallet New York has this season and next, they still need to make an investment on Beckham. They have roughly $7 million in cap space this season and $44 million next free agency. No one on the market can impact the Giants like Beckham can, which means retaining him is the top priority.
If the Giants don’t retain the talented wide-out, where could the man possibly go? While the cap is tight for Baltimore, the Ravens need offensive talent at their skill positions almost as badly as the Giants. With bust, after bust, at wide receiver via the draft, the Ravens should be willing to spend money on a proven game-changer. The Ravens could also pull off a deal by sending defensive help to a team that took a step back on that side last season and lost Jason Pierre-Paul in the offseason. The Colts have huge amounts of capital to burn through, with around $61 million free to spend. If they could figure out a trade to obtain Beckham, the ceiling of Andrew Luck passing to T.Y. Hilton and Beckham is extremely high.