The Giants appear to be posing a not-so-subtle ultimatum to Odell Beckham Jr.: If you want a new contract, you have to grow up.
That’s part of the reason the Giants hired Pat Shurmur — aka “the adult” — to be their new head coach. It will fall to Shurmur to establish a level of behavioral expectations for Beckham and make sure the star receiver complies with those rules.
“What needs to happen now is I need to get to know him, I need to get to know what makes him tick and I need to talk to him about what it is that we’re looking for from a guy who plays for the New York Giants,” Shurmur said. “Those are the things that need to happen.”
Beckham is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and co-owner John Mara said Friday that he’d like Beckham to be in the team’s long-term plans.
“We’ll get something done at some point,” Mara said. “I want first Pat to sit down with him and them to have an understanding of how we’re going to act. I have a lot of confidence that that’s going to work out well. But we’ll see.”
Shurmur the offensive coach and play-caller is, of course, enamored of Beckham.
“He’s a tremendous player,” Shurmur said. “I went through the evaluation process when I was in Philadelphia and he was high on our draft board. We loved him as a player and with the pre-draft stuff, we loved everything about him. I’ve watched him play and compete and with all the other stuff, when you watch him on the field, he’s outstanding, so it makes sense to throw him the football.”
That “other stuff,” though? The off-the-field headlines? The on-field behavior? That falls to Shurmur the head coach.
Shurmur knows the history but is putting it in the past — for now. “This is sort of a clean-slate deal right now,” he said. “We need to sit down and talk. When things happen, there are typically reasons for it.’’
That includes everything from slamming a kicking net to pretending to urinate like a dog while celebrating a touchdown to embarking on a party cruise in Miami less than a week before a playoff game.
Shurmur said he will use the same approach he uses when coaching quarterbacks to evaluate Beckham.
“With a quarterback, you have to constantly say to them: ‘What did you see? Why did you do that?’ ” Shurmur said. “With all things Odell, we just need to start talking and find out why things happen. And if they’re not to our standards, then we have to find a way to get it fixed.”
Shurmur said he expects to speak with Beckham ASAP. “I want us to both know where we’re coming from,” he said. “I want us to both know that there’s more to it than just running around and catching balls for a player, and there’s more than just calling plays for a coach. We have to start the relationship the right way.”