New year, same act for Odell Beckham Jr..
While the Giants were kicking off OTA’s on Monday, their star receiver was a no show. And after being challenged by general manager Jerry Reese to grow up after last year’s weekly circus — fighting the kicking net, proposing to the kicking net, having the time of his life when he’s scoring touchdowns but having no fun when he’s not, and going BOY BAND in Miami with the crew — after taking to Twitter this spring to vow that he’d work “harder than I ever have, to be the best that I ever have been.” OBJ went MIA on OTA’s.
No show. And even if it’s technically optional, there was Eli, free agent signee and fellow wideout Brandon Marshall, JPP, and the rest of the crew, but no OBJ. Who DID have time to tweet all about teammate Rashad Jennings’ Dancing With the Stars Appearance, but not to get to East Rutherford for practice 1 of 10 before June’s mini-camp.
How tired must the Giants be of this guy’s act? Show up at the Final 4 to watch North Carolina win a title, but then skip out on Eli’s workouts just a couple days later after claiming he had oral surgery scheduled. Hit twitter with a tweet that literally says, “Words Are Only That, so it’s time for ACTION” and then skip out on the action part of that screed less than a month later.
It’s hard to NOT think this is connected to his contract situation. The Giants locked in OBJ’s fifth season at roughly 8.5 million when they exercised their fifth-year option for 2018, and Beckham will play this season for around $1.5 million — the Pro Bowler clearly outperforming the rookie contract that he’s playing on. But even after 35 touchdowns and at least 1,300 yards in each of his first three years, no team is going to rip up a rookie deal for a guy who is almost as much trouble off the field as he is for opposing defenses on the field.
I’m NEVER going to side with a team on a contract dispute. Not when the team can rip them up when they want to. Not when the NFL refuses to guarantee contracts and every week presents a new chance for a career to end. But if you’re trying to get on the right side of management, if you’re TRYING to prove that you’re worth that insane jack, that you deserve to be paid like Antonio Brown or AJ Green or Julio, then you’ve got to act like a franchise player.
That means showing up for OTA’s, which Beckham is reportedly set to do on Thursday. That means working with your quarterback and the rest of the skill players when he hosts offseason workouts. And that means leading from the front. But after that BAG act last season — pouting his way through an 11-win season and a playoff berth, and then no-showing in that blowout loss to the Packers in the Wild Card round — OBJ is up to his old tricks.
Bad look then. Bad look now. And an especially bad look for a guy looking for a new contract.