The Giant Insider Online

Beckham’s deal only the first part of Giants solidifying their future core

Now that the New York Giants and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. have made their partnership official with a contract extension that will keep the flashy superstar in Blue through 2023, he unofficially becomes the face of the franchise.

No other player currently on the roster is signed beyond 2021. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley, if all goes well, will likely get his fifth-year option exercised, but that will only take him into 2022. Beckham will be on the books for one more year at that point.

Currently, quarterback Eli Manning has the tenure, the prestige and the accolades, but at age 37, he’s not long for the Giants or the NFL. We could be wrong about that, and we hope we are, but thinking realistically, the future of the Giants comes down to Beckham, Barkley and one other player the Giants have to pay in the coming year: safety Landon Collins.

Collins is due to become an unrestricted free agent next March. Keep in mind, he is not eligible for the fifth-year option as he was a second-round pick not a first-rounder like Beckham and Barkley.

The Giants do not want Collins to reach free agency, so they will probably be looking to extend him sooner rather than later. Where that money will come from is still to be determined.

Salaries for Pro Bowl safeties are climbing, just like they are at every position. The top contract for a safety currently belongs to Kansas City’s Eric Berry ($78 million over six years with $29 million guaranteed), with many of the top safeties in the game averaging anywhere between $8 million and $13 million per season.

Collins will demand a lot. He’s displayed not only the talent but the durability and maturity to warrant a deal such as Berry’s.

Looking at next year’s payroll, the Giants have many options and can certainly make room for Collins’ new deal. They’ll have to find a way. They are already committed to $157 million in salaries next year, and that does not include Beckham’s number.

The salary cap has been rising approximately $10 million per year over the last several years, so if that happens again that will certainly help defray the Collins deal, but some creative cutting is going to have to be done.

That is why winning this season may be of the utmost importance.

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