As he ramps up his activity level in joint practices with the Detroit Lions, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. remains confident that his contract situation will be resolved with the team.
“I definitely think it’s gonna work itself out,” Beckham told reporters Thursday. “You know, when is it gonna happen, you don’t know. That’s the business side that is new, is still new to me in a sense — it’s the first time I’ve ever had to deal with this or go through any of those things.
“I believe that it’s gonna work itself out. It’s a matter of time, just like anything in life, it’s timing.”
Beckham, who is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, has remained optimistic about signing a long-term extension with the Giants, who reportedly opened negotiations with the wideout in late July.
Beckham’s agent, Zeke Sandhu, reportedly visited the Giants for face-to-face meetings earlier this month before leaving without a deal. Reports conflicted about how talks went, with ESPN reporting the team valued Beckham below a $16 million annual salary and NFL Network reporting the team engaged in “good-faith negotiations” that would make Beckham the league’s highest-paid wide receiver.
That title currently belongs to Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown ($17 million annually).
Beckham, 25, is still working back from a broken ankle that required surgery and kept him out of all but four games last season, but he has made big strides this week in practices against the Lions. He’s taken more reps in up-tempo sessions against the Lions, including Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.
“There were some periods that I was going eight plays in a row,” Beckham said. “You kind of build up that wind again. Even in practice I’ve been getting pushed a lot, asking for reps because I knew I needed it. I need to feel that. I need to feel eight to 10 plays [in a row] and just kind of get that back.”
Slay told reporters on Wednesday that Beckham has looked like his normal, explosive self.
“He’s always going to be explosive,” Slay said. “He’s never going to lose that until he’s 50, I guess. I don’t know. Other than that, he’s Odell.”
Beckham returned praise toward Slay on Thursday.
“Every time I go against him it’s great energy,” Beckham said. “He obviously has been one of the best corners in the league. He’s been doing his thing for a while. It’s always been hard every time we’ve gone against each other. We just like to compete.”
Head coach Pat Shurmur would not say if the three-time Pro Bowl wideout would play in Friday’s game against the Lions. If Beckham doesn’t play, he could see action in one of the Giants’ final two preseason games.
New York opens the regular season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 9.
—Field Level Media