Odell Beckham Jr. may not be with the Giants for voluntary OTAs, but he is far from AWOL on social media, where he and his advisers have been active in the past 24 hours.
Among the flurry of posts that have emanated from Camp Odell have been videos of him training in California, including several with Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, and retweets of fans who are defending his decision and his right to skip the workouts.
Some of the articles that fans are trashing (and Beckham is retweeting) lean heavily on the words of coach Ben McAdoo, who spoke after the Giants practiced on Thursday.
“You want all of your players here, especially your great players,” McAdoo said when asked about no-shows Beckham and defensive end Olivier Vernon. “We want them all here. We coach who’s here.”
The workouts are voluntary, and Beckham told NFL Network on Thursday that he will attend the mandatory minicamp in mid-June. That is the only event of the offseason that players are required to attend.
There has been speculation that Beckham’s no-show for the voluntary OTAs stems from displeasure with his contract. Beckham is eligible for a new deal this season but has two years left on his rookie contract after the Giants recently picked up the option for 2018. He’s due to be paid base salaries of $1.8 million this year and about $8.5 million next year.
The concern from the Giants is not that Beckham is missing any football time or training. He’s been on video on social media working with former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel, and anyone who knows Beckham just a little bit would never doubt his dedication to training. But McAdoo said that by not attending OTAs, Beckham is missing something else.
“It’s an opportunity to build fundamentals, an opportunity to work on our communications, the trust and the chemistry,” McAdoo said of the workouts.
Beckham is certainly communicating. As for the trust and chemistry, that’s something he can’t foster in a gym 3,000 miles away from the Giants no matter how many Hall of Famers he trains with.