There has been a lot of speculation about why Odell Beckham Jr. has been absent from New York's offseason activities as a team. At one point, people believed the excuse for his absence was tied to cozying up with Iggy Azalea, which of course made for some good headlines.
The real explanation appears to be a lot simpler, at least if ESPN's Adam Schefter is to be believed. The biggest news breaker in the business says Beckham's absence can be explained with one simple word—money.
No one in Odell Beckham Jr. camp has admitted it, but his absence from OTAs is directly related to his desire for a new deal, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2017
Although OBJ hasn't publicly commented on the matter, he has left a few clues on his social media feed regarding what he thinks of Schefter. Just one day before Schefter broke the news on his contract battle, Beckham retweeted a story on Twitter in which Schefter defended him for missing OTA's.
Without coming out and saying it, that seems like a pretty firm endorsement of Schefter's word on the matter. This is as strong an indication as you'll get—minus a formal statement—that he respects Schefter.
Beckham remains a divisive figure among football fans, and the social media reaction to this news split accordingly. While fans spoke out for his right to demand a better deal, his critics took their opportunity to let the slander fly OBJ's way.
I know who's been talking... pic.twitter.com/0ye3A6FJAX— Not Robert Griffin (@Pseudo_RGIII) June 7, 2017
What's he want more money for every dropped ball? Butter fingers!— Joe Fitzgerald (@cybercuse) June 7, 2017
Was his absence in the Green Bay game related to that also???— Angelo Izquierdo (@angeloizquierdo) June 7, 2017
Good for him. https://t.co/sD28GGO3vR— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) June 7, 2017
If we're being honest, Beckham has far outperformed the value of his rookie deal, and if anyone should feel entitled to a nice extension from their team, it's a guy who put up huge numbers on a dirt-cheap contract. The Giants got one of the most productive receivers in football for pennies on the dollar, and they'll continue to do so for at least one more season if they don't agree to a new deal; he's scheduled to make $1.8 million this season, and that number will rise to $8.5 million in 2018.
Whether Beckham would be able to live up to a big-money contract in the New York spotlight is another issue entirely, and we'll have to see how this plays out between now and training camp. You can get away with working out on your own during OTA's, but when it comes time to really prepare for the regular season, the calls for Beckham to show up will only grow louder.