Roundup: Giants’ Odell Beckham skips start of OTAs
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not attend the opening of New York Giants organized team activities on Monday, per multiple reports.
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The session was closed to the media, and, like most offseason workouts, is voluntary for players.
Beckham worked out with his trainer on Monday and is likely to be at OTAs on Thursday, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported.
The reason for Beckham skipping the first few days of OTAs is not known. The Pro Bowl receiver has no workout bonus language in his contract. Heck, maybe he wanted to spend a few more days on a boat in Miami (kidding, kidding). It would be speculative to suggest OBJ skipped workouts in hopes of getting a new contract. Beckham is set to make a tad more than $1.8 million in 2017 before the fifth-year option kicks in for 2018. He’s in for a massive new deal down the road.
The OTAs are voluntary, but it’s always noteworthy when a star player like Beckham skips the workouts. The wideout also missed Eli Manning’s annual offseason passing camp, due what Beckham said was oral surgery.
With the team closed to the media until Thursday — when Beckham is reportedly supposed to show up — we will have to wait to get comment from coach Ben McAdoo on OBJ’s brief absence (and presumably how ‘great’ it is he’s back on Thursday).
Yes, the collective bargaining agreement makes these workouts voluntary, but just because players don’t have to be there doesn’t make it less notable when a big name is among the few missing the tune-up sessions.
“Half the year I’m balling and then the other half I’m not getting the ball,” Cruz says on the show. “You’re just like ‘What’s going on?’ I’m like OK. I see what’s happening. They don’t want me here anymore. Because granted, and a lot of people probably don’t know this, but let’s say I play well, I’m a 1,000-yard receiver last year, it would have been more difficult from a fan perspective to cut me.
“You know, If I’m a 1,000-yard guy they’d be like, well, why are you cutting Cruz? He just had 1,000 yards, five, six touchdowns. That doesn’t make sense. But if I have 500 yards or whatever the case may be, it’s a lot easier for the fans to be like ‘Oh well he didn’t play well, so that’s why they cut him.’
“And if I played well, they were due to — they owed me a ton of money that next year so it was like, let’s get Cruz off the books.”
This is some kind of dastardly plan by the Giants who, by the way, declined to comment on the matter. In the midst of trying to erase a five-year playoff drought and break in their first new head coach in 11 years, they also made sure to purposely squeeze out a franchise legend by ensuring that Eli Manning instead throw to Odell Beckham — quite possibly the best receiver in football.
Well, the jig is up. Time to come clean, Ben McAdoo!
“There is no accuracy to it,” McAdoo told reporters Thursday when asked if the Giants purposely didn’t throw to Cruz last year.
Cruz was a wonderful player during his time with the Giants and helped the franchise win a Super Bowl. His story — coming from Paterson, New Jersey, getting lost in the shuffle at UMass, clawing his way onto the roster as an undrafted free agent — was inspiring. His outreach in the area to this day is essential for a young group of kids growing up there. In group and small setting interviews, he’s more than gracious with his time and insight — which is often quite valuable.
But if he is now surrounding himself with the kind of people who think the feelings he expressed Thursday are cogent — one that other people will take seriously — I feel quite bad for him.
The rest of the interview did not fare much better.
Cruz went on to ding the Giants’ offensive line after agreeing Manning hasn’t had the best of seasons lately:
“[Manning] is not a guy — you have to put an offensive line in front of him that’s going to keep him upright so he can survey the field and make things happen. And the last couple of years he hasn’t had the amount of time that he’s typically had to make the best throws and make the best decisions. A lot of it is rushed and things like that. That probably played a factor in it as well.”
He also suggested that he’s heard teams are hesitant to sign him because he cares too much about endeavors into the sneaker and fashion world — and then promoted the sneakers and television show in his answer.
The reason for Beckham skipping the first few days of OTAs is not known.
Jones spoke with Beckham on Thursday and reported on NFL Network’s Up to the Minute that Beckham currently is working out in Los Angeles.
“I love my team and am excited about the season,” Beckham told Jones. When Jones asked the star wideout if he planned to attend future OTAs, Beckham said “no comment.” However, Beckham later told Jones he would attend mandatory minicamp “for sure” when it opens June 13.
The superstar receiver does not have workout bonus language in his contract. It would be mere speculation to suggest Beckham skipped workouts in hopes of getting a new contract two years before he’s set to hit the open market. The 2014 No. 12 overall pick will make a tad more than $1.8 million in 2017 before the fifth-year option kicks in for 2018, giving him a boost to about $8.5 million.
Even as he skips workouts, Beckham has made news this week signing a big deal with Nike and hanging out with NFL persona non grata Johnny Manziel.
Yes, OTAs are voluntary, but it’s always noteworthy when a star player like Beckham skips the workouts — especially after he was reportedly supposed to show up. OBJ also missed Eli Manning’s annual offseason passing camp at Duke, due to what Beckham said was oral surgery.