Last year Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was not at the facility on the first practice of OTAs and a few days later both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jason Pierre-Paul were no-shows as well. All three went on to have very productive and successful seasons in 2016.
So there is no reason to be alarmed that Beckham was not with his teammates Monday when the 2017 OTAs began, as was first reported by NJ.com. These workouts are voluntary. Even calling it an “absence” is the wrong word because no formal attendance is taken. And frankly, there is not much that happens at them. Monday’s workout, in fact, was supposed to be open to the media but that designation was changed last week (now Thursday’s OTA will be covered) because the Giants told reporters the Monday workout would be short and might be a waste of time with very little worth noting.
Maybe Beckham got the same memo.
Now, though, his lack of volunteerism is the most notable element from the day.
Of course it is buzzworthy when the team’s most prominent player doesn’t show up for the first day. But unless there is a deeper meaning to his not being there, some kind of message he is sending about his contract (the Giants just picked up a fifth-year option on his deal that will pay him about $8 million in 2018) or about the dress code on road trips or some other area of discontent, or unless it continues for the next few weeks, Beckham’s non-participation in the first practice of the OTA portion of the offseason is a non-story.
There almost certainly will not be a day in the preseason, the regular season, or, if things go well, the postseason, when the impact of Beckham’s whereabouts on May 22, 2017, will be felt. As team co-owner John Mara has said several times this offseason, Beckham is the last player on the team he is concerned about and he is not losing any sleep over the star receiver.
My guess is that on Monday night Mr. Mara will sleep just fine.