Beckham is out for the season with a fractured ankle.
NEW YORK — Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s path to a monstrous payday took a detour when he fractured his ankle in Week 5. But the man who will decide whether to cut Beckham a check worth tens of millions of dollars doesn’t think the injury represents a dead end.
“I don’t think that will have any effect because I think he’s going to make a full recovery,” Giants co-owner John Mara said at the NFL‘s fall owners meeting.
When Beckham cashes in is the biggest question surrounding the talented and mercurial wide receiver.
Beckham will miss the remainder of his fourth season after undergoing surgery on Oct. 10. This is the final season of his rookie contract, but the Giants have exercised the 2014 first-round’s $8.4 million fifth-year option for next season.
Mara declared at the start of training camp that the Giants will pay Beckham, although they don’t intend to make him the highest-paid player in the league. Negotiations on a long-term extension were expected to intensity after this season, but do the Giants now need to see Beckham back at 100 percent before making a lengthy commitment to the dynamic 24-year-old?
“I don’t necessarily think so because I think our medical people feel pretty strongly that he’ll make a full recovery,” Mara said. “And knowing him, he will work so hard to get back. He has so much pride.”
The Giants could wait to see how Beckham recovers from the ankle surgery and then reassess next offseason when they’ll have the option of using the franchise tag or offering a long-term contract. That approach would test the patience of Beckham, who didn’t hold out from minicamp or training camp this year despite unhappiness with his contract.
Mara believes Beckham got the message after their sit-down about the wide receiver’s distasteful celebration after a touchdown against the Eagles in Week 3. But Mara won’t have any evidence of Beckham’s maturity on the field until next season, which could come after a contract extension.
“I was obviously disappointed with his behavior in Philadelphia,” Mara said. “I spoke to him about that. He heard me. Unfortunately, he got hurt after that. But he’s maturing. I think we all had hoped that the maturity would come a little faster than it has been, but I’ve spoken to him. I saw him in the hospital last week. He’s in a good place and I think he’ll come back stronger than ever.”