NFL - Odell Beckham Jr. Signs Monster Deal
by DS WilliamsonThe biggest news so far this week is that the Giants signed Odell Beckham Jr. to a 5-year, $95 million extension. Odell is not only the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, he’s also the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history. Some might feel it’s not wise to sign Beckham Jr. to such a huge contract. Afterall, he failed to play in more than 4 games last season. He hasn’t caught a pass this preseason.
There's no doubting, however, that the man simply known as ODB is part of the long-term plans of the New York Giants.
Odell Beckham Jr. could become one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. He averaged double-digits in touchdowns in his first 3 seasons in the NFL. He caught 91 passes his rookie season, then increased that catch total to 96 in his second season. In his third season, Beckham Jr. caught a staggering 101 passes.
Here are Beckham Jr.’s career totals in 47 games played: 313 receptions, 4,424 receiving yards, and 38 touchdown catches. To put Beckham Jr.’s production in perspective, Jerry Rice caught 200 passes in his first 3 seasons in the NFL.
Beckham Jr.’s only 25-years-old. He’s a special player with plenty of upside, and tolerable downside. The Giants are smart to lock him in to a 5-year deal while $56 million guaranteed is much lower than guarantees to quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan.
The highest non-quarterback paid player in the league also fits with what the Giants want to accomplish on offense. By drafting running back Saquon Barkley second in Round 1 and by signing left tackle Nate Solder away from New England, the Giants showed that they want to rush the football more. It sounds counterintuitive, but rushing the football more should open the field for Eli Manning to throw to Odell Beckham Jr.
Defenses tried to stop Beckham Jr. when he was the Giants’ only top skill player. Now that Barkley rushes the football for New York, defenses must decide to pull safeties off Beckham Jr. to play the run. If they don’t, Barkley could kill them. If they do, it should allow Manning and his top wide receiver to hook up for touchdowns. As long as Manning’s abilities don’t go south, the Giants will continue to have one of the best QB-WR combinations in the NFL.
Things could change after this season. Manning is 37-yeaars-old, which means he might not play at a high-level for than a single season. The New York Giants haven’t yet found their future quarterback, which could be one of the reasons they signed Beckham Jr. to a 5-year deal. What quarterback in the NFL doesn’t want to throw passes to Odell Beckham Jr.? As Beckham Jr. racks up great stats, so will the guy slinging him the ball.
It's unlikely that Eli Manning maintains a high-level for the next 5 years, but Beckham Jr will (barring unexpected injuries). When the time comes, the Giants won’t have trouble attracting Manning’s replacement.
Signing Odell Beckham Jr. to a contract extension, will turn out to be one of the smartest moves the New York Giants have ever made. But there's little time to celebrate as the New York Giants head south to play the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 of NFL betting as 3-point underdogs on Sunday, September 9th.