Beckham’s New Contract Comes With High Demands

It is now time for Odell Beckham Jr. to be the promising star of the New York Giants, and perhaps, the best wide receiver in the NFL.

Beckham is set to be the richest wide receiver in NFL history. The reported five-year $95 million contract includes a record-setting $65 million in guarantees, the most ever at his position. It is a contract that rewards not just his past production with the Giants – all done on a rookie contract – but also rewards his vast potential to be a simply dominant wide receiver, perhaps the likes of which the league has never seen.

But Beckham must be more than simply dominant for the Giants. The one-handed grabs, the multiple Pro Bowl appearances, the way he can change a defensive scheme by his presence on the field, all these things are known and likely won’t change anytime soon. But Beckham must now be a leader. The contract simply demands as much.

At the end of the day, this amount of money means that Beckham can’t be the player of years past. While talented – insanely so – the issue has never been on-the-field production for the former first-round pick. It has always been about the distractions that have plagued him throughout his first four years in the NFL.

Beckham can’t be grabbing the back pages for any reason other than a game-changing performance. His goal must now be to lift the Lombardi Trophy, and not worry about off-the-field disruptions.

The enigmatic star must be a leader and a pillar for this team. He must be the foundation for the Giants this year and into the future. The Giants made an investment in the player that demands far more than just production.

At all times, Beckham must be plugged in to this team.

Beckham must now be one of the players that his teammates — young and old alike — must look to as an example. He must be the first one in the building and the last one to leave. The tone must be set by No. 13.

When the going gets tough, Beckham must be the one this team is following out of the proverbial valley. He has to lead and not enhance the toxicity when things get difficult.

This contract and the guaranteed money are more than the Giants wanting to ensure that they have the league’s most dynamic playmaker on the field for the next six seasons. The Giants, under new general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur wanted to see Beckham in offseason workouts and training camp before getting this deal done.

They had read and seen his off-the-field antics and behaviors. They wanted to see the man up close and in person. Not the Instagram photos. Not the player who rants on the sidelines.

And to his credit, Beckham came in this offseason and did everything right.

The deal is an obvious reaction to what the pragmatic Gettleman observed about Beckham over these past few months, a player who claimed a born-again spiritual experience this offseason. He has a chance now to be a born-again Giants player, one who can lead rather than distract.

The Giants gave him 95 million reasons to stick to the plan and finally become a leader on this team. Now it is up to Beckham to live up to this trust and be more than just a superstar player.

It is up to Beckham to lead the Giants through this rebuild and back to being a Super Bowl contender. It can’t be just about his physical skills anymore. This, in the here and now, and for the next six years, is now Beckham’s team to lead.