ORLANDO — The good cop has spoken.
A day after Giants co-owner John Mara laid down the law, expressing his frustration and diminished patience with Odell Beckham Jr. over the off-the-field antics that have trailed the megastar receiver for much of his career and this offseason in particular, Mara’s partner, co-owner Steve Tisch, took a far different tone.
Going so far as to call the video of Beckham that recently surfaced with a French model and what appears to be illegal drugs “background noise” and saying he is “not concerned about that,” Tisch said on Monday that he is optimistic Beckham will be a member of the Giants in 2018.
“I think there is a fine line between when it’s good for business and when that line is crossed and it can become bad for business,” Tisch said of distracting and sometimes negative headlines, comparing those with Beckham to the ones he deals with in the entertainment industry as a movie producer.
“When too much becomes too much I think everybody is aware of it and I hope we don’t get to that point and cross that line,” Tisch said. “It’s not been too much yet, but I think because there’s so much conversation about [Beckham], I just want everyone to pull back and realize that we will negotiate when the time to negotiate comes. I think he knows what he has to do to contribute to this team. I mean, Odell is not the only player in the NFL who is on a team making contributions. I think that every player who plays for the NFL knows what the expectations of not only ownership are, but the expectations their teammates have, certainly their fans have. It’s a big responsibility, but this is part of playing in the NFL.”
Tisch spoke just a few hours after a report from NFL Network that said Beckham “is not going to set foot on the field without a new contract agreed to, whether the Giants or whether anyone else.” Beckham is due to earn about $8 million in 2018, the final year of his rookie deal. That’s about half as much as the top-paid receivers in the league are earning.
Tisch called that report “a hypothetical.”
“We have not been contacted by anyone representing Odell making that comment or suggesting that’s something he will do so my reaction to it is it’s another hypothetical situation in a number of hypothetical situations,” Tisch said. “Odell’s contract will be negotiated at the appropriate time. So to speculate on the what-ifs and the ‘what would you do?’ and the ‘if this happens what’ll happen?’ — I can’t do that. It’s not realistic and it’s not in anyone’s best interest.”
General manager Dave Gettleman is aware of the report. “Yeah, I can read,” he said. “I got nothing to say.”
Gettleman is scheduled to address the media on Tuesday.
Tisch did say that Gettleman and Beckham’s camp have spoken about a new contract and are “at the earliest, most premature stages.”
But despite all the posturing — despite Mara’s stance on Sunday that Beckham (like any other player) could be traded (while the Giants are not actively shopping him) — Tisch said he’d like to believe that Beckham will be playing for the Giants in 2018.
“My nature is to be an optimist and I would like to have Odell on the Giants this coming season,” he said. “He’s a tremendous athlete, he’s a great player. So I do hope that Odell is with the Giants for the 2018 season. I would like that very much.”