Giants' Odell Beckham says holdout 'never in my mind' at minicamp

Lorenzo Reyes
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. is entering his fourth NFL season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Odell Beckham Jr. finally showed up and — according to him — his recent absences from the New York Giants' voluntary workouts were not related to the pursuit of a new contract.

After skipping all offseason activities to date, the electric receiver was present Tuesday for the first day of the club's mandatory, three-day minicamp. And in his first public comments to reporters since last season, Beckham echoed the words of Giants co-owner John Mara, who said last week that he wants Beckham “to be a Giant for the rest of his career.”

“I think we’re on the same page there,” Beckham said after practice. “I think this is one of the best organizations in the league, and I would love to be here for the rest of my life.”


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Beckham is entering the fourth year of his rookie deal, and the Giants have picked up his more lucrative fifth-year option for the 2018 season. But with the three-time Pro Bowler scheduled to make just $1.8 million this year, speculation has grown that he's seeking an extension more commensurate with his performance.

“I come here to play football,” Beckham maintained Tuesday. “I don’t really write the contract. I don’t design it. My agent knows 10 times more about it than I do. I just come here to do what I have always done, which is play football and be the best that I can be out there on the field.”

Beckham later added: "It’s really not the right time to discuss it.”

On Monday, he posted a video to his official Instagram account with the hashtag #ImBack. It shows him training in what seemed to be an attempt to combat some of the criticism already launched his way for skipping organized team activities.

Last month, he was photographed after a workout with NFL washout Johnny Manziel in California on the same day the Giants were holding a voluntary OTA. It sparked a wave of criticism on social media, furthering Beckham's profile as one of the most polarizing players in the league.

“I’ve seen the whole holdout and all that stuff, and I’ve never seen it work, so that was never in my mind that I’m not going to go to OTAs to get a new contract," Beckham said.

“I don’t think that really proves the point, in my opinion. So I was really just out there, really taking the time for myself to reflect on life and value what’s really really important. And like I said, to grow and mature.”

Beckham drew criticism last season after he and some teammates took a short trip to Miami the night after the regular-season finale, several days before New York’s 38-13 wild-card loss to the Green Bay Packers. Beckham caught four passes for 28 yards and had two pivotal drops in the defeat. Afterward, he allegedly punched a hole in the wall outside of Lambeau Field's visiting locking room.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese later said the team's biggest star needed to "grow up."

“I’ve reflected on it a lot,” Beckham said. “It’s just like LeBron (James) losing the (NBA) Finals — you’re going to look back on it and see what you could’ve done better, how you could’ve handled the situation better, or whatever the case may be. It’s all a part of life. It’s a learning process. You’ve just got to take it as a grain of salt. You’ve got to grow from it. You’ve got to learn. And that’s what I’ve been doing, that’s what the time off was.”

But the Giants were glad to have him on the field Tuesday.

“It’s good to have him back,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “It looks like he’s in good condition.”

McAdoo later added that Beckham “didn’t skip a beat” in terms of picking up the new installments in New York’s offense.

Beckham has caught at least 90 passes for at least 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of his three seasons as a pro.


Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes

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