With his new five-year extension signed Monday, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. expressed relief to have the deal done a day later.
“I just wanted to get the contract done, whatever was going to happen with it was going to happen,” Beckham told reporters Tuesday. “It’s not like it’s going to change the way that I want to play and the way that I want to perform. I’m more, like I said, relieved to get it done and just be able to start a new chapter of my life. It’s exciting, and I’m very thankful for where I’m at.
“Now that it’s behind me and there are no worries it feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Beckham’s deal, signed Monday, reportedly has a base value of $90 million, with an additional $5 million available through incentives, and makes him the highest-paid wideout in NFL history. The contract includes $65 million guaranteed for injury and $41 million fully guaranteed at signing.
Beckham, 25, was scheduled to make just under $8.5 million in 2018, on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. The sides opened negotiations in late July and steadily made progress since. Beckham had routinely told reporters he expected the situation to work itself out.
“This is kind of just something that you get out of the way,” Beckham said. “Honestly, it sounds crazy enough, but I don’t think I’ve done anything really since I’ve been here. I have goals for myself. I don’t think I have truly been able to achieve them, even with the success that I’ve had. It’s not really where I want to be.
“Like I said, before I was even in the NFL I wanted to be legendary. Yeah the money is great, you can take care of your family, you can take care of kids one day that you’ll possibly have. But my goal was always to be in the Hall of Fame, to win trophies, to be able to leave a legacy that will be remembered way past any money that you make.”
A first-round pick in 2014, Beckham racked up 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 scores through his first three seasons, all Pro Bowl campaigns. He collected 25 grabs for 302 yards and three touchdowns in four games last season before suffering a season-ending broken ankle.
Beckham added that he doesn’t feel the new contract puts any additional responsibility on him to be a leader.
“I don’t know if it puts any extra that I haven’t already put on myself,” he said. “Coming in early in training camp, being able to be here and knowing where I’m at in life, and knowing that I do need to be a leader, and there are guys that are watching me and I need to be there on days that I need to be bringing energy somewhere else. I don’t know if it’s any extra responsibility that I didn’t already put on myself going into this year, year five, being a vet. I couldn’t say it was any extra, but I know that my goals are if not the same, higher. I just want to be able to be my very, very best.”
During the offseason, reports surfaced that Beckham was being shopped after Giants owner John Mara said no player was untouchable. Mara denied that was the case at the time, and he reiterated such on Tuesday.
“I think a lot of you overreacted to that. You were asking me if anyone is untouchable. There is nobody that is untouchable, especially when you’re coming off 3-13,” Mara said. “So are we going to listen to phone calls when they come in? Yeah, of course you’re going to do that. It would be irresponsible not to. But it was always our intention he would be part of this team.”
Mara added that seeing the way Beckham looked at joint practices in Detroit earlier this month went a long way toward the finalizing of the deal.
“He went out to Detroit and took part in those practices at full speed and looked great,” he said. “He was ready to go and we were satisfied that he was healthy and had the right attitude. It was just a question of time.”
Beckham has yet to play this preseason, but he is expected to be fully ready for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
—Field Level Media