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What Could a Giants' Contract for Odell Beckham Jr Look Like?

Giants Country on FanNation 12/1/2022 Patricia Traina

Could the Giants afford to sign Odell Beckham Jr? Let's play around with some numbers and see if it's feasible.

At some point on Thursday, free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr will walk through the doors of 1925 Giants Drive, a building he's been to many times before.

But this visit will be far more different for Beckham and the Giants in that he will officially meet with general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, amongst others, to discuss a potential reunion.

Beckham, who is also planning to visit Dallas and Buffalo, is said to want a contract that hovers around $20 million per year and to play for a playoff contender.

But some questions need to be answered. Most medical professionals believe that athletes coming off ACL surgeries take anywhere from 18-24 months to fully return to form.

Beckham, who tore his ACL for the second time this past February, isn't even a year removed from surgery. So when the Giants get their eyes on him during the workout, that will certainly have to factor into any potential contract talks.

According to an article on The Heavy, which surveyed seven different NFL executives regarding where Beckham might land, it was expressed that whoever does land the receiver really won’t know how effective he will be until he’s had several games under his belt.

Thus signing him to a lucrative contract would seem like a risk, but some precautions can be taken to reach a win-win agreement to make everyone happy if both sides truly agree they want each other.

Within a contract for Beckham, there will probably expect annual roster bonuses, per-game roster bonuses, and workout bonuses, all of which don't have long-term effects on the salary cap beyond the current year in which they're slated.

What Might a Deal Look Like?

Let's look at a very roughly structured contract out together by yours truly that could be used as a model for a potential Beckham deal without chewing up the Giants' cap for the future.

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This is a 4-year, $42.388 million deal, the fourth year being voidable. In this model, Beckham gets an $8 million signing bonus, and in 2023 and 2024 and hovers around the $17M-$18M mark, reasonable given where he's at (two ACLs and three years removed from his last 1,000-yard season). 

His signing bonus ($8 million), his prorated 2022 base salary, his full 2023 base salary, and half of his 2024 base salary are guaranteed.

Given his injury history, the model has a per-game roster bonus of $12,235 ($225,000 per year). If he is inactive, that per-game roster bonus gets credited back to the Giants' cap.

There is a $100,000 annual workout bonus. If Beckham still prefers to work out on his own, this would be another credit the Giants can get back. 

Lastly, there is a $1 million performance incentive in 2023 and 2024, where if he reaches 1,000 receiving yards, he cashes in.

Where is the Money Coming From?

Unfortunately for the Giants, who have $2.525 million in cap space, they would have to do something general manager Joe Schoen had hoped to avoid: adjust receiver Kenny Golladay's contract.

Schoen told reporters  during the bye that he thought he might have to dip into the forbidden fruit at some point, though he hoped to avoid it. That he hasn't done so yet indicates that he intends to dump that contract as soon as possible in the off-season.

Golladay currently earns $722,222 per week under his P5 (base) salary. Assuming that Beckham was to sign in Week 15, as I've accounted for in the above table, the Giants will probably look to convert anywhere from $2 to $3 million of Golladay's remaining base salary to a signing bonus.

That would mean his cap hit this year would increase from $1-$1.5 million, with the balance accelerating into next year's cap.

While all signs point to Golladay being cut once the 2023 off-season begins, the Giants will probably designate him as a post-June 1 transaction, using the cap savings to pay their incoming 2023 rookie class while also having some cash left over to address emergencies and tweak the bottom of the roster.

Again, touching Golladay's contract isn't ideal and is a tactic that Schoen has in the past shown an aversion to regardless of the player. Unfortunately, it might become a necessary evil.

Is Beckham Worth It?

The Giants are in a position to make a playoff push, and if they win this weekend's game against the Commanders, the argument to land another receiver to help the offense strengthens. If the Giants lose and begin to lose grip of their playoff seeding, however, well then, an argument could be made that they wait until the draft next year to address receiver.

Then some point out that Schoen didn't bite when he had the chance to add a young receiver at the trade deadline, suggesting that Schoen has a realistic view of where the team is at, which is that it's not necessarily one player away from making a championship run.

Therein lies a potential clue as to what the Giants might end up doing. While trading for a receiver would have cost the Giants draft picks, perhaps they believe that the forthcoming 2023 class of receivers is strong enough to where they can find their solution.

Granted, waiting wouldn't help their 2022 playoff aspirations, but if Schoen wasn't strongly moved to add to the receivers back at the trade deadline when the Giants had a stronger hold on a playoff berth, why would that change now?

As for Beckham, if he is truly healthy, he would turbocharge an offense. But there is also the matter of him getting back into football shape and getting on the same page with the Giants offense and quarterback Daniel Jones, in time for a potential postseason berth.

If nothing else, Schoen has proven he's not afraid to do due diligence by exploring every possible angle to help the team. Beckham is no exception. While the finances could potentially work if some creativity is used, Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll need to agree that Beckham fits the locker room culture for the contract duration.

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