ESPN reported Monday that the Giants and Zeke Sandhu, Beckham’s agent, worked “diligently” to complete a deal but “could not agree on Beckham’s true market value”.
ESPN’s reported the Giants were valuing Beckham below the Kansas City Chiefs’ Sammy Watkins. Watkins signed a three-year, $48 million deal with the Chiefs in March. The amount the Giants were willing to pay Beckham was reportedly below the $16 million a season that Watkins will make under his current deal.
Hours after ESPN’s report, the NFL Network had a report of their own that contradicts the Worldwide Leader in Sports. The NFL Network reported that Sandhu and the Giants are “engaged in good-faith negotiations on a deal that would make Beckham the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL”.
“They aren’t there yet,” the NFL Network’s report said. “But the sides are encouraged a deal could be done before the season.”
The Giants and Beckham’s representatives have kept the contract negotiations private for the most part. Somehow, information was leaked and two different sources came out with two very different reports.
The Giants could make Beckham the NFL’s highest-paid receiver through guaranteed money, average annual salary, or a combination of both. The real question is whether or not the team and Beckham view what makes the highest-paid receiver in identical terms.
The contradictory reports about the contract negotiations coming out Monday is rather ironic. Beckham said he was “optimistic” a deal would get done on Saturday. Reports of Sandhu leaving town without a deal in place sent shockwaves throughout sports media. The speculation as to why a deal didn’t get done is a bit premature.
Negotiations involve both disagreement and compromise. The agent’s job is shoot for the stars in securing the best deal for their client. The team has to be both financially prudent in the short and long terms as well as fill a specific need. Sandhu could have begun negotiations with an asking price of $19 million a season and the Giants could have countered with the deal ESPN reported on. The two sides will meet somewhere in the middle.
The Giants have said all along they want Beckham to remain with the team for his entire career. The new regime cannot afford to get into a public fiscal feud with their best player nor do they want him to hold out. Beckham cannot afford to holdout either. If he held out, it would validate all the negative press about his behavior and character throughout his NFL career.
Beckham said he knew he was taking a “calculated” risk by attending the Giants’ offseason workouts, OTAs, and minicamp without a new deal in place. He realizes the risk is lessen working out against his own teammates. The risk increases substantially when facing a player who is trying to make an NFL roster.
Head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman could abe working on a Beckham preseason plan behind the scenes. Beckham is returning from a broken ankle that cost him the final 12 regular season games of 2017. He initially hurt that ankle in a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, missing the final two preseason games and regular season opener.
There is no deal done for now. The Giants historically have wrapped these matters up before the regular season opener. They open at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 9, which is still 32 days away.
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.