The Giants met with Odell Beckham Jr.'s agent last week to begin negotiations on a well-deserved long-term contract. But according to ESPN's Josina Anderson, agent Zeke Sandhu left the New York area without a deal in place.
After saying and doing all the right things this offseason while hoping for a new long-term deal, Beckham may have to wait a little longer. He showed up in April for the Giants' voluntary offseason workout program and minicamp, and he also reported with his teammates for training camp late last month. The takeaway: Beckham was willing to be a team player but with the implicit understanding that he's due a huge pay bump before the start of the season.
Beckham, currently on the books for $8.5 million in 2018, is a game-changing talent who's looking to more than double his salary. As it stands, the Steelers' Antonio Brown leads all wide receivers, earning $17 million annually, but several other young wideouts have cashed in this offseason, including Mike Evans ($16.5 million average annual salary), Brandin Cooks ($16.2 million), Watkins, Jarvis Landry ($15.1 million), Davante Adams ($14.5 million) and Stefon Diggs ($14.4 million).
Among those names, Beckham is among the best and certainly more valuable to the Giants than Watkins is to the Chiefs. Watkins managed just 39 catches for 593 yards and 8 touchdowns in the Rams' high-powered offense last season. Beckham played in just four games in 2017 because of an injury, but in 2016 he had 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. The season before, he finished 93/1,450/13 after a rookie campaign that was just as impressive: 91 catches, 1,305 yards, 12 touchdowns.
Over that same time, Watkins has never caught more than 65 passes and eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards just once.
Meanwhile, according to Spotrac, Beckham's market value should make him the NFL's highest-paid wide receiver worthy of a five-year, $86.3 million deal that averages $17.2 million a season.
So will that happen?
"Depends on how reasonable they are," Giants co-owner John Mara told CBS Sports Radio's Boomer and Gio last week when asked if a deal could be done by the regular-season opener against the Jaguars on Sept. 9.
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora says not to read too much into negotiations and expects Beckham will be the league's highest-paid receiver.
I wouldnt gey caught up on too much play-by-play on Beckham contract negotiations. Things seem to be on a good place all around. Giant will make him highest paid WR, just a matter of by how much.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 6, 2018
Beckham, for his part,.
"They'll get it done when they get it done," he said over the weekend. "Let my agent and them figure it out. … Optimistic? Yeah, I'm optimistic. It'll all work itself out. Life always does. I just know, do what you're supposed to be doing, the rest will always take care of itself. Life has a funny way of reminding you who's in control and it's done that."