The New York Giants and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. have started contract negotiations, according to ESPN.
The network reported Thursday morning that the contract talks began earlier this week. The hope is the two sides will come to terms before the Giants open the regular season Sept. 9 against Jacksonville.
The revelation comes a few days after Giants owner John Mara said the two sides would sit at the table “sooner rather than later.”
Beckham, 25, could become the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. To do so, he would have to top the $17 million that Pittsburgh is giving Antonio Brown annually as part of his contract signed in 2017 and the $16.5 million annually that Tampa Bay committed to a five-year deal with Mike Evans earlier this year.
Under the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, Beckham is scheduled to earn just under $8.5 million this season.
According to ESPN, the Giants put off negotiations because they wanted to see how Beckham had recovered from the broken ankle he sustained last October and to make sure he had established a rapport with new coach Pat Shurmur and his staff.
So far, Beckham has impressed the Giants with his commitment to attending the offseason workout program, OTAs and minicamp this spring.
“I see what I expected to see when we started to communicate back in February,” Shurmur said earlier this week. “This guy loves to play football, he trains extremely hard, he’s totally engaged in the meetings behind the scenes, the things that the world is not aware of, and he’s got a lot of passion for the game. We were just out in a walk-through and I saw three or four times when he was talking to different players about certain techniques within the play. That’s all good stuff.”
In four years in the NFL, Beckham has played in 47 games. He has averaged 94.1 receiving yards per game, and has 4,424 total yards and 38 touchdowns.
Two other players from the 2014 draft class are holding out of training camp with little sign of movement from either side. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack could be prepared to sit a number of weeks.
—Field Level Media