The Giants made Odell Beckham Jr. the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, handing the league's most dynamic pass-catcher a $95 million extension, which keeps him ties to New York the next six seasons.
Coming off a season-ending injury, getting a new contract was a priority for Beckham. Now the wideout doesn't have to worry about another major injury curtailing his career earnings.
"I didn't know if it was going to be this year or next year," Beckham said Tuesday. "I knew that in some point in time in my life this was going to happen. I work too hard. I dedicated my entire life to this game. I passed up on other sports to play this one. There was no doubt it was going to happen. Yes, it was scary when (injury) happens and all that runs through your head and I think that's the best part about this is I don't have to worry. Now I can go out there 100 percent. Some guys, you're out there playing and thinking about a contract, and you're like 'oh I don't want to get hurt,' 'I don't want to do this.' Now that it's behind me, it feels like there's no worries, it's a weight off my shoulders."
Beckham's health was key to the negotiations. The Giants wanted to be sure they weren't handing $41 million guaranteed ($65 million in total guarantees, including for injury) to a player who was still hurt.
Beckham sat out the entire preseason, but the team has been expressed optimism all summer the receiver would be ready for Week 1. Giants co-owner John Mara told reporters on Tuesday that Beckham's participation in joint practices with the Detroit Lions before the second preseason game proved to the team the receiver was healthy. After seeing OBJ in those practices, negotiators really picked up, Mara said, per Tom Rock of Newsday.
Beckham said going through the recovery process provided him a new viewpoint on life and his career.
"... Once you see everything fresh in front of you, you kind of have a different perspective, a different outlook on life," he said. "I just feel back to myself and having fun and being able to bring energy and light where it needs to be shined. (I am) truly, truly thankful for (my family for) putting me back together. It was a long, long process. My agent was talking to me about it last night, as you all know; I won't tell you the story. He blew both his knees out and he was just saying how much he appreciates how hard I worked every day because he's going through rehab as well right now and see there's days where you're going to be frustrated, there's days you're going to be down but you just keep fighting. I'm here where I'm at today because I kept fighting. It's just a lot that went on that makes you open your eyes a little bit."
With a new fat contract and wider eyes, perhaps we'll see an even better OBJ on the field in 2018 -- if it's even possible to be more explosive than he was during his first three seasons.