New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wants to be the NFL’s highest paid player.
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In a video posted by the Uninterrupted, he stated his desire.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) July 27, 2017
“It’s like the elephant in the room, and you don’t want to talk about it,” Beckham said in the video. “But I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’m like, ‘No, I’m going to…there’s no need to not talk about it.
“I believe that I will be hopefully not just the highest paid receiver in the league, but the highest paid, period.”
Beckham reported for training camp Thursday. He spent much of the offseason training in Los Angeles and did not show up for quarterback Eli Manning’s workouts with the receivers at Duke University this spring or the Giants’ organized team activities (OTAs).
Beckham did report for the team’s three-day mini-camp last month. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that a reason for OBJ’s absence was his contract situation.
He will make $1.8 million this season, the last year of his rookie contract. The Giants exercised Beckham’s fifth-year option which will pay him more than $8 million in 2018. His endorsements will pay him more than $10 million this year, including $5.8 million from his record-setting deal with Nike.
Beckham’s salary is well below that of the top receivers in the NFL, even when his fifth-year option kicks in. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown signed an extension this offseason that will pay him $17 million per season.
The NFL’s highest paid player is Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who counts $24.55 million against the team’s salary cap. Nine of the NFL’s highest players are quarterbacks. The highest paid receiver is the Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, who will make $17 million this season.
The Giants and Beckham haven’t begun negotiations on a new contract and don’t appear to be in a hurry to do so, although ownership has gone on the record to say they want Beckham to remain a Giant for the totality of his career.
“They haven’t begun as of yet…they’ll happen at the appropriate time,” co-owner John Mara said in an interview with the New York Post. “I don’t think we have a timeframe on it. But we certainly don’t want to see him playing in another uniform.”
General manager Jerry Reese left open the possibility that negotiations could happen during the season.
“We’ll keep all of our options open,” Reese said.
Beckham was asked at mini-camp if he wanted a new deal done before the start of the season. He avoided the question.
“I couldn’t really tell you. Like I said, when the time comes. Any contract questions are really not for me to discuss,” Beckham said. “I haven’t really talked to with anybody about contracts, so it is not something that has been in the air. It kind of was a talk that was brought up amongst other people. It was never really in my discussion, so like I said, just take it one day at a time and when it comes it will come.”
Beckham has 288 receptions for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Giants. He’s had at least 90 receptions and double-digit touchdowns every season since entering the NFL and made the Pro Bowl each season.
Beckham took an ill-advised trip to Miami before his first playoff game against the Green Bay Packers and played poorly in the loss. After the game, he punched a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field.
After the playoff loss and its aftermath, Reese challenged Beckham “to grow up” and “look at himself in the mirror”.