Beckham did those things, including showing up to camp on time. The two sides got together to discuss a deal last week. But there are conflicting reports about how productive those meetings were.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson said the Giants are not offering him a deal that would be anywhere what he wants. But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Beckham’s camp and the Giants “engaged in good-faith negotiations on a deal that would make him the highest paid WR in the NFL” and were confident a deal could get done before the season starts.
That’s a lot different than Anderson’s report, which said the Giants were offering Beckham less per year than the Kansas City Chiefs paid Sammy Watkins in free agency. Watkins is making $16 million per season. Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the highest-paid receiver in the NFL at $17 million per season.
Two much different reports on Odell Beckham negotiations
The reports both agree that Beckham’s agent Zeke Sandhu and the Giants engaged in talks last week. Anderson and Rapoport reported different things about how the meetings went.
Anderson tweeted about the Watkins comparison, then clarified that the total value of the deal, and the average, included Beckham’s fifth-year option salary of $8.46 million for this year. That brings down the average, of course. Also, not all of Watkins’ $16 million per year is guaranteed. The Giants could be offering Beckham more than what Watkins got, but tacking that on to the end of his rookie deal makes it look worse when it’s viewed in a per-year lens. Whatever was actually offered, we have to assume someone with knowledge of the talks told Anderson about the Watkins comparison and wanted that report out there.
[2/2] My understanding is that the Giants are currently valuing Odell Beckham at a total average per year below Sammy Watkins. #ContractTalks
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 6, 2018
But Anderson added that it was her understanding “new money isn’t ballpark either.” A little later, Rapoport had a much more positive outlook.
Over the past several days, Odell Beckham Jr’s agent Zeke Sandhu & the #Giants engaged in good-faith negotiations on a deal that would make him the highest paid WR in the NFL, sources say. They aren’t there yet, but the sides are encouraged a deal could be done before the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 6, 2018
Everything about Beckham’s contract is going to be complicated, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the reporting on it is unusual too.
The Giants need to pay Beckham
Beckham is a transcendent talent, but there have been reports he wants more than $20 million per season. That would reset the bar, which is rising with deals to Watkins, Brandin Cooks and Stefon Diggs.
The Giants have had issues with Beckham’s behavior, and have chided him for that through the years, but they know how talented he is. The team has said it wants to get a deal done, and it presumably knows what kind of deal it will take to get it done. They’re not letting a talent like Beckham leave in free agency, you’d assume.
Until the deal gets done, Beckham’s contract status will be one of the NFL’s biggest stories heading into the offseason. Depending on which report you believe, either that deal is fairly close or nowhere near getting done.
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