NEW YORK — Giants co-owner John Mara is happy these days.
He’s happy the team landed the consensus best player in the draft in Saquon Barkley and happy that star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was in attendance for the start of the Giants’ offseason program and first minicamp.
Beckham, 25, wants a new contract. He’s set to play for $8.5 million on the fifth-year option on his rookie deal.
Mara said he is hopeful that Beckham will remain a Giant for many years.
“I hope so,” he said Tuesday at the 25th Anniversary Gridiron Gala held by the United Way of New York City.
Mara made his first public comments since the NFL meetings, when the Giants stated they weren’t trying to trade Beckham but did say they would listen to offers. The momentum has swayed significantly since then.
That doesn’t mean the Giants appear to be in a rush to solidify Beckham’s long-term future. He still hasn’t been cleared for practice after fracturing his ankle in a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers last October.
“I wouldn’t say sense of urgency. The contract will get done when it’s supposed to get done,” Mara said. “I think that is the [general manager] Dave Gettleman line. I think I’m going to adopt that. All spring, all summer, as long as it takes.”
Beckham has been at the Giants’ facility for a good chunk of the team’s voluntary offseason workout program to date. That has been well received by new coach Pat Shurmur and the team’s brass.
Shurmur has worked on solidifying that relationship. He visited Beckham during a pre-draft trip to California earlier this offseason, and the two have texted regularly. It appears Beckham has bought into the new program and is hopeful something can get done.
Whether that results in a long-term deal remains to be seen. Beckham is looking to get paid after twice suffering serious injuries last season while playing for $1.8 million.
If the Giants play hardball, it could cause problems. Beckham isn’t going to willingly participate in full-contact drills or preseason games with so much at stake.
None of this seems to have the Giants sweating.
“It’s not the first contract negotiation we’ve had,” Mara said when asked if a deal needed to be done by this summer. “It will get done when it’s supposed to get done.”
Beckham reached the Pro Bowl in each of his first three professional seasons. He had 90-plus catches with at least 1,300 yards and 10 or more touchdowns every year before injuries ruined his 2017 season. The Giants averaged 13.6 points last year in the 13 games without a healthy Beckham in the lineup.