PHOENIX — Giants president and co-owner John Mara said he believes emotional wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who punched a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field after the Giants’ playoff loss to the Packers in January, will deal with his temper better, that there is no reason to be concerned long-term about the receiver’s mercurial personality and that Beckham is “the last guy on our team I’m worried about.”
“He’s an emotional player. I think he’s going to mature over time,” Mara told a small group of reporters Monday at the NFL owners’ meetings. “But I’m not losing any sleep worrying about him. He’s a prideful, motivated young man who competes at 100 percent all the time, and I think he’ll mature over time.”
Asked if he has interacted with Beckham since the playoff game, which came after a highly publicized trip to Florida Beckham took with several other Giants wide receivers less than a week before the game, Mara said, “I’ve interacted enough to know that I have confidence that he’s going to be a good player in this league for a long time. Listen, he’s the last guy on our team I’m worried about.”
While general manager Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo chided Beckham publicly over his fit of temper after the loss to the Packers, Mara made light of the incident.
“I made an offer to [Packers president] Mark Murphy to pay for the hole in the wall,” Mara said. “[Murphy] said that it was OK. It was only $100.” Mara added that Murphy hasn’t sent him a bill for the repair job.
But Mara does remain concerned about Beckham’s temper, although he believes the 24-year-old receiver will better deal with his emotions over time. Beckham was suspended for the final game of the 2015 season after he got into a series of skirmishes with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman and launched himself headfirst at Norman during a scuffle. Beckham also angrily pushed the kicking net on the sideline after Eli Manning threw an incompletion to tight end Will Tye in the end zone in Week 3 against the Redskins last season. The net caromed back and hit him in the face. Beckham also got into a scuffle the following week with Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
Beckham is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract, although the Giants can exercise a fifth-year option in 2018 to keep him under contract for one more season. Mara said the team has not approached Beckham about a long-term deal.
“Not yet, no,” he said. Would he consider extending the contract before the 2017 season? “I don’t know. I haven’t talked to [general manager] Jerry [Reese] yet.”