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Odell Beckham is worth every bit of his record-breaking deal for the New York Giants

Odell Beckham Jr agreed to a five-year, $95 million deal with the New York Giants that makes him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.

Jay Asser 2018/08/28

One of the NFL’s most entertaining players is now also one of its highest paid.

Odell Beckham Jr and the New York Giants agreed to a reported five-year, $95 million deal – including $65m guaranteed – on Monday that makes the star wide receiver the top-earning player at his position.

Any way you slice it, Beckham’s contract puts him above every other receiver in the league, with his total value and guaranteed money eclipsing the mark set by Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans ($82.5m and $55m), and his annual salary topping the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown ($17m).

Brown and Atlanta Falcons playmaker Julio Jones are, statistically speaking, the only two receivers in Beckham’s class, with the former having recorded at least 101 receptions, 1,284 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in five straight seasons, while the latter is the only player in NFL history with more receiving yards per game than Beckham’s 94.1 (95.3).

Beckham, meanwhile, had at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. Last year, he played in only four games due to an ankle fracture and finished with 25 catches, 302 yards and three scores. But if you extrapolate those numbers over a 16-game season, Beckham was on pace for 100 receptions, 1,208 yards and 12 touchdowns.

No player in league history has ever reached 200 receptions and 3,000 yards quicker than Beckham, who needed 30 games to hit those benchmarks. He also became the fastest player to reach 100 career receptions, achieving the feat in the first 14 games of his rookie year.

At 25, Beckham is considerably younger than both Jones (29) and Brown (30), which means he has several more prime years to continue his assault on opposing defences and the record books.

His value to the Giants – since entering the league and going forward – can’t be overstated.

Since 2014, New York have averaged 22.7 points when Beckham has been on the field, compared to 16.9 without him.

The pressure he puts on secondaries is difficult to fully quantify because the attention he commands opens up the field for the Giants’ other skill players.

Whether he’s facing zone or man defence, Beckham has elite athleticism to create separation and the speed to turn ordinary catches into long touchdowns.

And as the world learned when he made that jaw-dropping one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys in his rookie season, Beckham has the kind of flair and big-play ability that is rare.

With Beckham, there’s almost nothing he can’t do as a player. The one flaw in his game of late has been dropped passes. He had nine drops in 2016, including the postseason, which was third-most in the NFL, and led the league with five drops at the time of his season-ending injury last year, according to ESPN.

But even those were arguably more mental than physical, and part of the demons Beckham has had to confront over the past three years when he’s dealt with controversy on and off the field.

Whether it’s been attacking kicking nets, throwing punches at defenders, or being the subject of social media chatter for the wrong reasons, Beckham has had an eventful career that has had few dull moments so far.

Heading into the new season, his presence will once again be crucial to the Giants’ success, especially with the team coming off their worst 16-game record in franchise history at 3-13.

New York used their second overall pick to select running back Saquon Barkley in the draft, while the rest of the offence features third-year receiver Sterling Shepard and second-year tight end Evan Engram.

And no one is more affected by Beckham more than Eli Manning, who is getting another shot as the starting quarterback this season after the Giants opted to pass on drafting his replacement.

Since 2014, Manning has a passer rating of 113.4 when targeting Beckham and a rating of 87.9 when throwing to all other receivers, according to Pro Football Focus.

For the Giants to turn around their fortunes in 2018, Beckham will be every bit as important as any other player on the roster, and as important as any non-quarterback in the league – something that is now reflected in his new contract.

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Antonio Brown eli manning Julio Jones New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr