Odell Beckham Jr. and New York Giants fans’ heads might still be spinning after what turned into a hectic Monday.
After reports surfaced that the star wide receiver was ready to hold out until he was given a new long-term contract extension, his name suddenly became the headliner of trade talks around the NFL.
Beckham is entering the final year of his rookie contract, making $8.5 million in his fifth-year option. Despite his electrifying play on the field, his demeanor while in uniform and actions off the field have not sat well with the Giants.
New York and the Los Angeles Rams have already had talks about a deal involving Beckham and his sudden availability would likely allow the Giants to host an abundance of offers from a majority of teams around the league.
For new Giants head coach Pat Shurmur though, he isn’t paying much mind to the swirling rumors that have suddenly engulfed his team. Instead, he’s expecting to see No. 13 back in blue and attending team activities in April, which would be his first action with the team since an ankle injury cut his 2017 short after just four games.
“All reports are he will be ready to go as we get going,” Shurmur said (h/t Rob Maadi, Associated Press). “There are steps he has to take. All indications are he will be back healthy by the time we start playing in September.”
That’s health-wise. But what about these sudden trade rumors?
Over the weekend, Giants owner John Mara stated that the team wasn’t “actively shopping” Beckham, though he stated his frustration and disappointment with the star after a video surfaced online of the 25-year-old in Paris holding what is believed to be a blunt while a woman in the room had a white powder believed to be cocaine.
The quick change in tune from the organization might have something to do with Beckham’s threat of holding out until that new deal comes around, but the team’s aggressive handling of the star has impressed Shurmur.
“That’s another way of saying we’re going to try to do everything we can to make our team better,” Shurmur said. “I understand that. It’s sort of refreshing to know that we’re going to look under any rock and turn over every stone that we can to make sure we make the New York football Giants the best team we can make it.”
At the end of the day though, Shurmur is facing the possibility of losing a receiver who has put up the most prolific numbers in NFL history during the first three years of his career. In an offense that is expected to rely on the aging Eli Manning, the Giants will need all the help they can get.
“We always want weapons. He’s been an outstanding player, especially his frist three years,” Shurmur said. “We want really, really good players. We want guys who are passionate about playing the game. We want guys that understand the importance of relationships, which means they want to be coached. And we want guys that understand what it is to be a good teammate.”
“I’m looking forward to working with him.”