New York Giants’ Odell Beckham: Camp holdout for new deal not in plans

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made his first appearance in front of a sizeable press corps to clear up a few things on Tuesday.

Beckham did his best to address perceived misconceptions about some of his off-season decisions and to reassure everyone that he is not disgruntled because of his contract.

Beckham also wanted to convey that he is serious about his behavior after being issued a challenge by team management at the end of last season.

As for his contract, Beckham had a different approach.

“I’ll leave that in the hands of the man above,” Beckham said about his contract, which in its fourth season will pay him $1,839,027 base salary this year. “When that time comes, it comes. Right now is really not the time to discuss it. When that time comes, it comes.”

Until then, Beckham said a training camp holdout isn’t on his agenda when the team reports back to East Rutherford, N.J., late next month.

“I’ve seen the whole holdout and I’ve never really (seen it work), so it was never really in my mind to hold out of OTAs to get a new contract,” he said. “I don’t think that really proves a point in my opinion so I was really out there taking that time for myself, reflect on life and values and what’s important.”

Beckham said the opportunity to train in Los Angeles, where he worked with Jamal Liggin, gave him a chance to clear his mind and focus on what he needs to do to mature as both a person and as a player.

“You just have time to reflect on life and learn new things,” he said. “It was a great process for me and I definitely enjoyed it.”

One of the things he reflected on was the abrupt and rather ugly ending to the Giants’ 2016 season, their first venture into the postseason since 2011. That entire week commenced with Beckham and the receivers being photographed on board a yacht in Miami after partying with pop star Justin Bieber at a nightclub, just hours after the team wrapped up the regular season in Washington.

The week of ugliness continued with Beckham dropping two catchable balls in the playoff game against Green Bay in what was arguably his worst performance of the season. Then he allegedly punched a hole in the wall outside the visiting locker room at Lambeau Field, an action that 24 hours later contributed to the normally tight-lipped general manager Jerry Reese telling reporters that Beckham needs to “grow up.”

“I reflected on it a lot,” Beckham said of the ugly last impression he left on people. “I feel like LeBron (James) losing the (NBA) Finals. You’re going to look back and reflect on what you could have done better, how you could have handled the situation better. It’s all part of life, a learning process. You have to take it as a learning process and grow from it and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

In addition to training with Liggin on speed and flexibility, Beckham had an opportunity to work a few times with Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, whom Beckham praised for the depth of his knowledge.

“He’s a guy who’s been through a lot,” Beckham said. “He has a lot of life lessons to share with. He’s also a Hall of Famer who’s one of the best, so taking some of the little things — some of the little nuances and sight techniques of the game — I feel like he’s been a guy who’s been in my corner and just to be able to learn from him was great.”

It’s still early to gauge just how far Beckham has come during time away spent reflecting and training under his own program. He was limited on the Giants’ first day of minicamp, but he was definitely a welcome sight for sore eyes within the organization.

“It’s good to have him back,” head coach Ben McAdoo said. “He seems like he’s in good condition. He didn’t miss a beat when he came in.”

“I’m just trying to get back in the playbook,” Beckham said of his objective during this camp, who called having the opportunity to work with Brandon Marshall a great one. “It’s been great to be back out here and be back with your team. It’s a special bond.”

It’s also a bond that Beckham said he’d love to have for the rest of his career, echoing a sentiment made by team co-owner John Mara at last month’s league meetings.

“I think we’re on the same page,” Beckham said. “Obviously this is one of the best organizations in the league and I would love to be here for the rest of my life.”

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