IN case you missed it the New York Giants gave Odell Beckham Jr the mega-deal he deserved yesterday. The star wide receiver wanted to be the highest paid pass catcher in the NFL and his wish was granted to the tune of a five year, $95 million dollar extension. But is he worth the hefty price tag?
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THE exact details of Beckham’s extension are still filtering through, but we are led to believe he will earn $65mil in guaranteed money while averaging over $20 million a season for the first three years of his deal. The new extension that will make him the highest paid player at his position, eclipsing Mike Evans’ $55 million dollars of guaranteed money and Antonio Brown’s annual average of $17mil.
TO understand why the Giants gave this young star so much money you have to go back to the beginning. The 12th overall pick in the 2014 class captured the attention of football fans worldwide with his impressive rookie campaign. He holds multiple NFL records as the fastest to reach certain receiving milestones, totalling 1,305 yards and 12 touchdown catches in his first pro season. Beckham was also invited to the Pro-Bowl and claimed Offensive Rookie of the Year honours for 2014. Oh, and he broke the internet too…
FROM there on he hardly put a foot wrong for the next two seasons playing in 31 of a possible 32 games and hauling in a bunch more TD’s and passing yards. The 2017 season wasn’t as fruitful though with Beckham struggling to stay healthy and the Giants plummeting down the standings as a result. A left ankle fracture ended his year in Week 5 and put a question mark over his health going forward. Despite the fact that he hasn’t played yet this pre-season, all reports indicate that he will be ready to go for the first game of the season against Jacksonville.
THIS type of investment the Giants made isn’t just for the 2018 season though. They have guaranteed for at least the next five seasons a potential Hall of Fame pass catcher in Odell will be in Giants blue. Some may have their doubts about the upgrade in pay New York gave the uber-talented youngster. Fingers are pointed towards his high profile off the field and short temper as red flags, but I beg to differ.
WHEN you compare Odell Beckham’s career numbers from his first 47 games to every other NFL receiver there are a few things that stand out. The most glaring is that no-one, no other single player in history has caught more passes than Beckham from career game 1 to 47. Playing with an all-time great quarterback in Eli Manning helps, but that doesn’t take away from Beckham’s impressive numbers. His 313 receptions beat out 1960’s wideout Lionel Taylor (306) and more modern day giants like Julio Jones (267) and A.J. Green (260) with Beckham also ranking 6th in touchdown catches (38) and 2nd all-time in receiving yards (4,424) behind HOFer Lance ‘Bambi’ Alworth.
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COMPARING his stats to his peers since he entered the league in 2014 is interesting too. Despite only playing 47 of a possible 64 games, Beckham can still be found inside the top-10 for most relevant passing stats with Antonio Brown the only player to have caught more touchdowns in the same four-year window with 44. I have had my doubts in the past over the long-term future of Odell in Giants colours, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t worth every single penny New York just gave him.
BECKHAM’S contract extension always seemed like a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’. Giants GM Dave Gettleman unlikely to let an asset as valuable Beckham walk out the door as a free agent at the end of the season and locking him down was always the smart play. From a marketability standpoint, Beckham might be the most recognizable player in the league behind Tom Brady and maybe Aaron Rodgers. Those dudes don’t just grow on trees. If he can get his body right, there’s no reason to think he won’t be back to his captivating best in season 2018, helping the Giants usher in a new era in the franchises rich history.
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