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Odell Beckham Jr. signs deal, now NFL’s highest-paid receiver

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 24.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. >> Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants is now the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver.

A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press today that the team has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the three-time Pro Bowler.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Giants have not announced the deal, which comes less than two weeks before the season opener against Jacksonville.

While terms were not disclosed, the deal with the 25-year-old, 2014 first-rounder is worth about $95 million with $65 million guaranteed.

Beckham’s $19 million average salary would top the $17 million earned by Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. His $95 million deal also tops the $82.5 million deal receiver Mike Evans has with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Beckham, who missed most of last season with a broken left ankle, was scheduled to make $8.4 million in the final year of his rookie contract.

In his first four seasons, Beckham has caught 313 passes for 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns.

Beckham has not played in any of the Giants’ three preseason games as new coach Pat Shurmur has taken a very cautious approach with the catalyst to his offense coming off his first major professional injury.

It is unlikely that he will play in the preseason finale on Thursday against the New England Patriots so his first game action since being hurt on Oct. 8 will be against the Jaguars at home on Sept. 9.

A lot has been written about Beckham’s contract situation since the end of last season. There were reports the Giants were involved in trade talks with the Rams and many wondered whether co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch wanted to spend a lot of money on a player who also created some disturbing news off the field.

Beckham annoyed many by going to Florida for a boat outing with teammates before a playoff game after the 2016 regular season. He then played poorly in a one-sided loss to the Packers.

His reputation took another hit when a video was posted with him in a room where a hand-rolled cigarette was visible. A woman next to him had unidentified white powder on a nearby table.

During this past offseason, Beckham seemed to mature. He worked hard to overcome his injury, stayed out of trouble and developed a good relationship with Shurmur. He also said all the right things when asked about getting a new contract.

Beckham’s agent Zeke Sandhu spoke with assistant general manager Kevin Abrams for almost two hours on the patio overlooking the field during a practice earlier this month.

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