Eli Manning, New York Giants fall to Philadelphia Eagles in tragic fashion (Highlights) 1
Dec 22, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr (13) leaps in an attempt to evade a tackle by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Leodis McKelvin (21) in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Giants 24-19. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have yet to finalize WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s fifth year option, which to many is the biggest no-brainer in team history.

The New York Giants have until May 3 to exercise the superstar’s fifth-year option, a feature installed in the collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners in 2011. The option allows teams to extend the standard four-year rookie contracts of first round selections for additional year.

There’s no question that the Giants plan to do this, but don’t have to act until after the NFL Draft. Many teams have already extended the contracts of their eligible players. The Giants probably should have committed to OBJ by now but they have their own way of doing things. 

Beckham will earn $1.839 million in base salary this season, his fourth, with a cap hit of $3.311 million. When the Giants extend him out to a fifth season, he will get a significant raise but will still be vastly underpaid considering his production and star value.

“The fifth-year salary of a player selected in the top-10 of the draft is equal to the transition tag in their fourth year. For players selected from picks 11 and 32, it is the average salary of the third to 25th highest paid players at that position (MMQB).”

Beckham was chosen 12th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, meaning he falls into the second group, which is lucky for the Giants and unfortunate for him. The transition tag values are based on the average of the top-10 highest-paid players at the position. Now he will be awarded a salary much lower.

Had Beckham been a top-10 selection his fifth year option would be worth in the neighborhood of $13 million for the 2018 season. Instead, he will be paid approximately $7-8 million. It’s still a nice haul but not quite what he deserves.

That’s the nature of the business. On Monday, the Los Angeles Rams exercised DT Aaron Donald’s fifth year option at $6.9 million. Donald was selected one slot behind Beckham in the draft. Tennessee OT Taylor Lewan, taken directly in front of Beckham, has yet to be extended by the Titans.

John Fennelly has been covering the New York sports scene on the Internet since 1997. He has advised and been published on dozens of prominent websites and in major periodicals and can been heard on sports talk radio stations all over the dial. Before embarking on his career as an accredited journalist, John held several management positions in a successful 25-year career in the financial industry. He holds a degree in New Media/Journalism from Queens College.