He wore a simple white polo shirt with the Giants wordmark and a smile that stretched across his face. He was happy all the contract hoopla is behind him so he can concentrate on football.
“Now that it’s behind me and there are no worries, it feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Beckham said.
Beckham watched as 12 of the 14 receivers taken in the first two rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft ink lucrative deals. He received his payday Monday when he and the Giants agreed to a five-year extension worth up to $95 million. Beckham’s deal includes $65 million in guaranteed money.
The $18 million per season he will earn and the total amount of guaranteed money are NFL records. He will make $8.5 million this season, the final year of his rookie deal. Beckham is signed through the 2023 season. In 47 career regular season games, he has 313 receptions for 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns.
Beckham’s payday came more than 10 months after breaking his ankle. He was also the subject of trade rumors leading up to April’s NFL Draft. The Giants, who always contended that Beckham was a part of their future plans, didn’t begin negotiations until the start of training camp.
Beckham always had confidence a deal would get done but acknowledged he was a little worried.
“I can’t say that I wasn’t worried about it, because it was in the back of your head because there is no way you can’t worry about it,” Beckham said. “But just knowing that it would be all right, that it would be worked out, and put that trust in the man upstairs and (agent) Zeke (Sandhu) and the Giants to get it all done. And it happened, right on time.”
The Giants and Beckham were able to agree on a long-term extension with 13 days remaining until the regular season opener.
“I was confident it was going to get done. It was just a question of when,” Mara said. “He went out to Detroit and took part in those practices at full speed and looked great. He was ready to go and we were satisfied that he was healthy and had the right attitude. It was just a question of time.”
It wasn’t always a given that Beckham and the Giants would come to an agreement, especially with the trade rumors. Beckham dismissed it as just rumors when asked it about it at the start of training camp. Mara also shrugged it off after the extension was announced.
“I think a lot of you overreacted to that,” Mara said. “You were asking me if anyone is untouchable. There is nobody that is untouchable, especially when you’re coming off 3-13. So, are we going to listen to phone calls when they come in? Yeah, of course you’re going to do that. It would be irresponsible not to but it was always our intention he would be part of this team.”
Beckham can now focus his attention solely on football. He hasn’t played in any of the Giants’ three preseason games and will probably not play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the New England Patriots. His return to the field will be in the regular season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 9, 335 days after breaking his ankle and missing the final 11 regular season games of 2017.
Although the Giants have shown Beckham the money, he insists this wasn’t completely about the Benjamins. He feels there is much more to accomplish.
“I don’t think that has ever been a plan,” Beckham said. “Like I said, this is something you just get out of the way. Honestly, it sounds crazy enough but I don’t feel like I’ve done anything really since I’ve been here. For what goals I have for myself, I don’t feel like I’ve been able to truly achieve them, even with the success I’ve had.
“It’s not really where I want to be. Like I said, even before I was in the NFL, I want to be legendary. Yeah, the money is great. You can take care of your family. You can take care of kids one day that you’ll possibly have. But my goal was to always be in the Hall of Fame, to win trophies, to be able to leave a legacy past any money that you make.”
– 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.