New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. will consider acquiring a massive insurance policy – possibly for more than $100 million in injury protection – if he doesn’t reach a contract extension with the team before the NFL‘s regular season begins, two sources close to Beckham told Yahoo Sports.
The sources said Beckham’s camp explored injury insurance prior to Monday night, when a scary hit left the player with a sprained ankle in a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.
“[If a deal isn’t done] by the regular season, he’ll take steps to protect himself. [But] a new deal is preferable to adding insurance,” one source said.
A one-season insurance policy topping $100 million would likely cost Beckham more than $600,000 depending on the details of coverage, the sources said. One of the most marketable and popular players in the NFL, Beckham’s next deal could reach a total value north of $100 million. If that materializes, it would be the first time in league history that a wideout contract has touched the $100 million mark.
Talks between the Giants and Beckham’s camp have been quiet throughout the preseason. But there will be renewed pressure to get a deal done after that chilling moment Monday night, when Beckham’s left knee and ankle took a frightening hit from Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Beckham tossed his helmet following the hit and limped to the locker room before going down to his knees on the stadium concourse. Further evaluation diagnosed an ankle sprain and Beckham eventually returned to the sideline and jogged off the field.
“It feels like a strained ankle, a rolled ankle, I do not know,” Beckham said after the game. “You know what it feels like to hurt your ankle? That is what it feels like. It will be all right.”
Unless further testing reveals something unforeseen, Beckham seemed unconcerned about missing any regular-season games. But it’s unlikely the Giants will expose him the remainder of the preseason.
“I don’t know, man,” Beckham Jr. said with a smile when asked if he would be ready for the Giants’ regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. “I am pretty concerned, but I think I will be all right.”
How it impacts Beckham’s extension talks remains to be seen. The wideout and the Giants have had open – but largely quiet – lines of communication on an extension that is ultimately expected to be the richest in history for a wide receiver, a source told Yahoo Sports. Part of the sticking point, the source said, is that the Giants essentially have two cheap seasons left on the ledger, including the fourth and final year of Beckham’s rookie deal, and a fifth-year option the team has already exercised.
The Giants star is in the final year of a four-year rookie contract and is slated to make nearly $1.84 million in base salary. From a technical standpoint, his rookie deal has averaged nearly $2.6 million per season when his signing bonus is factored in. The franchise has also picked up Beckham’s fifth-year option, which is slated to pay him a one-year salary of $8.46 million in 2018 – if an extension can’t be reached.
Beckham has said he’s worthy of being the NFL’s highest-paid player. In terms of per-year average, that distinction currently belongs to Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who signed an extension this offseason averaging $25 million per season. Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown is the league’s highest-paid wideout, at $17 million per season.
As it stands, Giants co-owner John Mara said he anticipates paying Beckham, though he has declined to give a timeframe for a new deal.
“He deserves to get paid,” Mara told reporters after the Giants’ first training-camp practice. “We’re going to pay him. It’s just a question of when we enter into the contract. I don’t have a timetable on it right now. I just don’t feel like there is any need to rush into it. But he is going to end up getting paid.”
Through three seasons, Beckham has been a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time, second-team All Pro, as well as winning the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year. Known for some of the most acrobatic one-handed catches in league history (and his signature two-tone hairstyle), Beckham’s jersey has also annually been among the NFL’s top five in sales since 2014.
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