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Odell Beckham Jr.’s ankle injury clouds his future with the Giants

The Giants will likely be hesitant to give Beckham the mega contract he wants.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Odell Beckham Jr. has a broken ankle that will require surgery this week to repair. The New York Giants placed him on injured reserve, and the injury will end his 2017 season.

For the 0-5 Giants, that doesn’t bode well for the remainder of the season, not for an offense that was already struggling even when it had its most dynamic weapon. But the question now is how the injury will affect Beckham’s future in the NFL and his future with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2014.

In the offseason, the Giants picked up the fifth-year option for Beckham keeping him under contract for the 2018 season. But he’s scheduled to become a free agent in 2019. It was already a difficult contract to get a handle on, and now it’s even more complicated by the injury suffered Sunday.

Beckham is worth a lot

The eccentric receiver is a fixture in commercials and hard to miss during games. His huge profile comes as a result of his excellent play. Just a couple weeks ago, the 24-year-old receiver became the quickest ever to 300 career receptions and his career average of 94.1 yards per game is behind only Julio Jones on the all-time leaderboard.

He’s fast, he runs clean routes, and he makes ridiculous catches on a weekly basis.

Beckham is one of the NFL’s best wide receivers and deserves to be paid like one. Currently, the highest paid receivers are Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who received a five-year, $72.71 million deal in February, and DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans. who signed a six-year, $88.9 million contract before the season.

Getting a blockbuster deal in place with Beckham may not be easy for the Giants.

Beckham wants a gigantic amount

In July, Beckham told Uninterrupted he wants to become the highest-paid player in the NFL. That mark currently belongs to Matthew Stafford after the Lions quarterback signed a six-year, $135 million contract in August.

For Beckham to even cross the $100 million mark would be unprecedented for a receiver and would still come up way short of the top salary in the NFL.

Maybe Beckham aims to be the highest-paid player in the NFL with the addition of the money he makes in endorsements. That’s more realistic considering how large his star is off the field. But it’d be surprising if Beckham was willing to settle for anything less than the No. 1 spot at his position.

So the question is how amenable he’ll be to a more realistic number and how willing to pay up the Giants are going to be.

The injury makes it tough to invest in Beckham

The best teams in the NFL don’t hand out contracts to reward play from the past, but to invest in a player for the future. Giving Beckham a huge deal would only be smart if the Giants believe the fast start to his career will continue for many years to come.

But Beckham’s fractured ankle adds to a growing list of injuries suffered by the wide receiver in his four seasons in the NFL.

He missed the first four games of his career due to a hamstring injury, dealt with more hamstring problems in 2015, and played through hip and thumb injuries during the 2016 season — the only year he played all 16 games. Prior to Sunday, Beckham suffered an ankle sprain in preseason that kept him out in Week 1.

His latest setback is the worst of his career, but it raises red flags for the wide receiver that may make the Giants hesitant to throw record-breaking amounts to him.

Still, allowing him to walk after the 2018 season also doesn’t seem realistic.

For now, the likely scenario on the horizon is Beckham receiving the franchise tag during the 2019 offseason. There’s plenty of time for things to change, but the likelihood of the receiver getting his mega contract from the Giants any time soon appears slight.