There’s a storm brewing in New York. As soon as Odell Beckham Jr. steps on the practice field, he’ll start to put pressure on Dave Gettleman.
The good news for New York Giants fans is that Odell Beckham Jr. is close to receiving medical clearance to join his teammates on the field. That isn’t completely good news for the team’s front office, however. Beckham Jr’s return to the practice field will put immense pressure on Dave Gettleman to reward his star wide receiver with a new contract.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any real progress on that front. Beckham Jr. is still asking for a deal that would make him the highest paid wide receiver in the game. Gettleman has shown zero proclivity to hand the former LSU star a deal in the ballpark of $20 million per season.
Until now, Gettleman has been able to use Beckham Jr’s injury status as a valid reason not to engage in serious negotiations. There’s no reason to believe he can’t recover fully, but it’s reasonable to want to see him return to the field before handing him such a massive contract. Gettleman may try to push the idea of waiting to see Beckham Jr. in a regular season game, but that’s not going to fly with the receiver or his representatives.
The Beckham Jr. camp understands that every rep he takes in practice puts their client at risk. It’s not simply the possibility of reinjuring his leg. Any sort of fresh injury would rob the receiver of precious leverage in contract negotiations. The Giants could easily try to sign him to a lowball deal if he suffered any injury of consequence.
Add all this up and it’s easy to see a big conflict brewing. Gettleman takes real pride in being one of the NFL’s toughest negotiators. He was so tough on players that several prominent Carolina Panthers criticized him during his tenure in Charlotte.
Making waves in the Charlotte press is significantly different than entering into a high-profile clash with a popular player in New York. Gettleman will find the backlash much different in the Big Apple. Don’t expect the Giants GM to pay much attention to what the fans or the media has to stay.
That could easily force Beckham Jr’s hand. To get Gettleman’s attention he may feel like he needs to hold out of some of the team’s mandatory activities. That could obviously have negative effects on the team dynamic. It’s hard to imagine the Giants offense being very successful this season without a healthy and productive Odell Beckham Jr.
Giants fans have every right to be excited about Beckham Jr.’s return to the practice field, but it’s not all good news. There’s a storm brewing between he and Dave Gettleman. Drama is coming to New York City.