New York Giants’ star Odell Beckham Jr is holding out. I’m going to tell you why he has every reason to do exactly that.
Let’s be honest, everyone not wearing a New York Giants jersey thinks that Odell Beckham Jr. is an emotional crybaby or a passionate superstar reminiscent of Michael Irvin. Beauty is in the sight of the beholder I suppose; but I digress …
So when OBJ decided to hold out portions of this offseason, those people who say he’s a crybaby would probably jump on his throat and say, “Play out your contract.”
This is where I learned there’s one serious divide among fans of sports teams. There are fans who have a player’s perspective and fans who have a franchise/team perspective.
I’ve flirted with both during my time as a fan of the New York Jets.
More on that later.
But here’s a fun fact, the average NFL lifespan is three years.
This means most players don’t make it past their rookie contracts. Guess what version of the NFL contract OBJ is still playing under?
The new CBA allows teams full control over their first round picks. They sign a four plus one team option deal.
There’s no arguing over money anymore. It’s all slotted and calculated. A rook’s rookie contract is all determined based on draft position.
Beckham is set to make a little more than $1m this season. On top of this season, the Giants exercised the fifth-year option for 2018. So in 2018, the Giants will have to dole out over $8m, but hardly an exorbitant amount — especially considering what OBJ had done in his young career.
In his three seasons, OBJ has accumulated 288 receptions, over 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. That’s NFL record-breaking numbers.
For a three-time Pro Bowler, the Giants are more than getting their money’s worth for the 12th overall pick they invested in him.
But is OBJ getting his?
The highest paid WR in the NFL today is Antonio Brown who on his current contract is receiving north of $17 million per season. Expect OBJ and his camp to start the negotiating from that point.
One of the greatest films from a cinematography perspective is Citizen Kane. The opening scene is a flashback, so let’s utilize that strategy in this article.
Earlier in this article, I said that I had a personal account with this story, except on the other side of the fence, from an interview with former New York Jets’ star Thomas Jones earlier this Spring.
At the height of his powers, he was one of the best running backs in the league. After another record breaking year, he was “owed” a $5 million bonus if he was on the roster on the first day of the new league year.
Despite outplaying his contract and in-turn “earning” that bonus, he never saw it. The Jets asked him to take a smaller amount, he said no, next thing you know he’s on the bottom of SportsCenter after getting released.
You could say the Jets cut the veteran at the right time because he never went on to approach the numbers he had with the Jets.
But the reason I bring up this story is to reiterate the NFL is a cold-blooded business. TJ shoulda, coulda, woulda got that money but teams don’t care what you did for me last season, it’s a what can you do for me now league. Jones learned the hard way.
TJ isn’t the only one not to see the end of his contract, despite doing everything he was supposed too. But he’s the most prominent case that I can remember.
History tends to repeat itself …
This should be a harsh reminder to OBJ that you have to get your money while you still can. Who knows what could happen to OBJ? He could slip on ice and boom his career is over.
He’s not at the tail end of his career looking for a bonus, he’s looking for his first big catch and I’m not talking about on the field.
OBJ is a polarizing star without a doubt. At certain portions of his three-year career, the Giants had reservations whether this guy mentally could make it in the league.
Physically, there’s no question he has the goods, but if he does something crazy on the field or even off the field, he does no good as a suspended superstar, which we’ve seen before.
Another bonus interview?
I talked about this very topic with New York Giants’ team reporter John Schmeelk on Friday, for The Score 1260.
We explored whether or not OBJ would go all-out if his team didn’t appropriately extend him.
What is more important to OBJ? A payday or winning?
That’s an important question for a team that I believe and John Schmeelk concurred with, is Super Bowl ready, particularly on offense with the additions of Brandon Marshall through free agency and Evan Engram through the NFL Draft.
Certainly, they’re still riding the $200 million free agency spending spree from last season with the additions of Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins and Damon Harrison. Trying to buy a championship through free agency typically doesn’t work, but it paid off in a huge way for Big Blue.
The Giants netted an elite playmaker at every level of their defense with the acquisitions, but all of the potential promise of this season lies in the hands of their mercurial star, OBJ. Without him, they won’t realize their full potential. With him, Eli Manning could have his third championship and the Giants could net their fifth.
The question of what’s most important to OBJ may not have to be answered because I believe he’s going to get both his pay day and quench his thirst for winning, possibly with a Lombardi trophy.
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) June 9, 2017