In case there was any doubt, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has spent the last week or so training on the West Coast, is planning to attend this week’s mandatory minicamp, according to head coach Pat Shurmur, who revealed as much during a Sunday night TV spot with NBC’s sports anchor Bruce Beck.
Surprised? Don’t be.
Despite a bumpy start to 2018 which included a seven-second viral video that offered a poor optic of the receiver and team co-owner John Mara’s statement that no one was untouchable when it came to being on the trade block (even though he also said that the team wasn’t actively shopping Beckham), the receiver is in a better place now thanks to head coach Pat Shurmur’s consistent and sincere willingness to build a two-way street of trust with Beckham.
Despite not having spoken on the record about his contract since a February appearance at the NFL Honors award show at the Super Bowl, Beckham, like many players in his shoes, can’t be blamed for wanting his contract situation to be resolved sooner than later.
Thus far, however, contract talks with the Giants are believed to be sporadic at best, which has some people wondering if the team is preparing to draw a line in the sand with their star receiver.
They aren’t, despite what the optics might indicate, as to do so would undermine months of good will that Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman have tried to establish with Beckham.
While the Giants do have all the leverage in this case in that Beckham is under contract for 2018 and can then be franchised for at least the next two seasons after, the lack of negotiations likely is a result of the Giants exercising caution.
Shurmur has revealed in the past that Beckham is close to being cleared medically, the receiver is unlikely to get the green light to do everything in practice until the Giants report to training camp in late July.
But being cleared to do everything medically and then being able to actually do it are different animals, as we saw when Victor Cruz was cleared medically to return to practice following a torn patellar tendon in his knee only to develop another injury from compensating that put him on the shelf.
With Beckham, the Giants know that for now, time is on everyone’s side and that by giving him the maximum amount of time to get himself right physically, there is a good chance that he won’t have a setback. If this means limiting him in practices and keeping him out of preseason games, which is the likely scenario, then so be it.
Controlling Beckham’s reps during the summer should give the Giants decision makers the information necessary to determine if he is still the same receiver he was prior to the injury.
Assuming all goes according to plan—and there no reason to believe that won’t be the case—it would then not be surprising if contract talks between the Giants and Beckham’s agent heat up toward a resolution just before the start of the 2018 season.
In the meantime, it cannot be understated how important it’s been for Shurmur and Beckham to build a productive line of communication.
Trust is the first step toward resolving most issues, and while Shurmur isn’t directly involved with contract negotiations, as a senior team official, his meeting Beckham halfway is definitely a step in the right direction and a big reason Beckham has been more willing than usual to meet the Giants halfway this offseason.