New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. still doesn't have that long-term contract that he's been coveting this offseason, but that isn't stopping him from staying with his team.
The 25-year-old Pro Bowler reported to Giants facilities on Monday for organized team activities (OTAs), which is a continuously promising sign that the two sides are going to work things out before his rookie contract expires at the end of the 2018 season.
Just two months ago, it looked as though the Giants were ready to sever ties with Beckham, reportedly making him available on the trade market just hours after the receiver threatened to hold out if he wasn't given a long-term contract extension this offseason. They even went as far as having conversations with the Los Angeles Rams about acquiring first-round draft picks for Beckham.
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 44 Pictures
- 10 finalists for TIME Person of the Year 2018 10 Pictures
While it was a surprising move given the sheer talent Beckham holds, his demeanor on the field and his actions off it seemed to have taken its toll on Giants management. So much in fact that they were willing to give up one of the most productive pass catchers in NFL history over his first three full seasons.
Last year saw Beckham's production limited as an ankle injury forced him to miss 12 games during a season in which the Giants lost a franchise-worst 13 games.
But things for Beckham and the Giants have suddenly been looking up, even though Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reported on Monday morning that the two parties have not made any strides in serious contract negotiations.
After the miserable 2017 campaign earned them the No. 2 pick of the 2018 draft, New York acquired Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, considered by many to be the best overall talent available. It was a move Beckham clearly approved of and he has wasted no time getting to work with Barkley, as the rookie told Matt Lombardo of NJ.com:
"Odell and I got a lot closer since the draft. It was great meeting him. Odell was just being Odell. He's one of the most electrifying players in the NFL, if not the best wide receiver in the NFL. He saw who I was from college and we just started working out. Since then, he started giving me tips. He gave me a lot of tips on how to do it... I look forward to our career together and obviously our friendship growing even more. The best advice Odell gave me,... is to just continue being me. I got here for a reason. Obviously, you have to improve on your work ethic and your game. Obviously, you have a lot more time to focus on the game of football. Just be you. Stay true to who you are, be humble, be hungry, and the rest will take care of itself."
Beckham has done everything the Giants could have possibly expected from him, attending voluntary offseason programs in March and minicamp in April while posting videos of him working out when he isn't with the team.
He looks committed to the cause and is doing all the right things needed to get the ball rolling on extension talks. A ball that is firmly in Giants management's court.