John Mara always believed that Odell Beckham Jr. would sign an extension. But a visit to Michigan two weeks ago sealed the deal.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday afternoon, the Giants’ principal owner, president, and CEO stated he never doubted that a deal would get done. His optimism came full circle on Monday.
“I would say there was a very very small chance that was not even worth losing sleep over. We wanted him on the team. I think he knew that. We made that pretty clear to him,” Mara said, according to SNY’s Danny Abriano. “I think it evolved over a period of time. It was always our intention to sign him at some point. The only question was this: was it gonna be this year or were we gonna give him another year to prove himself.”
While Mara was always confident a deal would get done, there was one event that made him realize there was no turning back: the Giants’ visit to Detroit two weeks ago.
The Giants descended upon Michigan two weeks ago, engaging in several days of competition with the Lions, culminating in a preseason game at Ford Field on Aug. 17. Though Beckham did not partake in the game, he did partake in drills against the Lions in Allen Park.
It was the first time Beckham faced opposing defenders since suffering an ankle injury in October that kept him out of the final 11 games of the 2017 season.
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) August 14, 2018
Those practices, according to Mara, were the turning point.
“I was confident it was going to get done. It was just a question of when,” Mara said in a video obtained by Doug Rush of USA Today. “When he went out to Detroit when he took part in those practices, it was full speed and looked great. He was ready to go and we were satisfied that he was healthy and had the right attitude. It was just a question of when is all.”
The Giants are set to open their season on September 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Though Beckham likely won’t partake, the Giants will wrap up their preseason on Thursday night at home against the New England Patriots.