The New York Giants fell to the Cleveland Browns 20-10 on Thursday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and one of their star players was noticeably absent from the game.
Odell Beckham Jr. did not play in the Giants’ preseason opener on Thursday. The superstar wide receiver missed most of last season after suffering a fractured left ankle in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Chargers. He and his agent are also in the process of negotiating a new contract with the Giants.
After the loss to the Browns, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was asked why Beckham didn’t play. According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Shurmur said that he never intended to play Beckham in the game.
Pat Shurmur on why Odell Beckham didn’t play: “I want to be smart with his recovery coming back. I never intended to play him in this game.”
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) August 10, 2018
This decision wasn’t exactly surprising. It is common practice for head coaches to keep their star players out of the first preseason game. Especially considering the fact that Beckham is still recovering from his ankle injury, Shurmur was smart not to play him.
As far as his contract goes, Beckham is set to make $8.5 million this season. He is about to enter the fifth and final year of his rookie contract.
Obviously, the Giants would like to get a new deal done with Beckham before the start of the regular season. It is imperative that they agree to a long-term with him soon. Beckham is a top-five receiver in the NFL. Even though he’s definitely going to cost a lot of money, the Giants would be foolish to let him slip away.