New York Giants All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. plans on sitting out offseason training activities while waiting on a new contract. This season, Beckham is scheduled to make $1.8 million. The 12th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Beckham is finally able to talk money with the organization as he heads into his fourth season on the team. Under his current deal, he is the 64th highest paid receiver in football.
The problem for Beckham is the Giants have all the leverage in the situation. He is locked in to playing for $1.8 million this season. They will certainly pick up his fifth-year option since he was a first round pick. The fifth-year option will pay the average of the third though 25th players selected in his draft year (approximately $8.5 million). For the record, the wide receivers that fall into that category are Sammy Watkins (selected 4th), Mike Evans (7th) and Brandin Cooks (20th).
Beckham is, whether he likes it or not, locked in for the next two seasons at $10.3 million. Even after the next two seasons are over, the Giants could franchise tag their franchise player for two more seasons. The risk is having a player who is already at the top of the list when you think of NFL divas turning into a complete malcontent and disruption in the locker room.
In addition, players around the league will be watching this situation to see how the Giants’ front office conducts their business. For all the drama and hype Beckham brings, there is no question he is one of the first names you think of when you list the best wide receivers in the NFL today. If the Giants aren’t willing to pay a bona fide superstar what he’s worth, why would a free agent consider going there?
The only recourse Beckham has is to sacrifice his pocketbook. While reports indicate he will be present at mandatory training camp, if he is truly adamant in his desire to get a new long-term deal this year he must sit out indefinitely. The outcry from the fans and local media has worked in the past but what resonates more is when the absence affects wins and losses. If Beckham stays home after the season begins his absence will directly impact wins and losses. The more they lose, the more pressure the front office will feel to get him in house.
Despite his paltry NFL salary, Beckham won’t be hurting for money. He already is a well-known pitchman for Head & Shoulders, Foot Locker and Lenovo. In May, he signed a massive endorsement deal with Nike for five-years/$25 million with the potential to reach eight-years/$48 million if certain benchmarks are met.
In the end, the logical scenario if for the Giants to acquiesce and pay Beckham like the legitimate superstar he’s become. To draw out his big mulit-year payday will only hurt the franchise in the long- and short-term. Without a deal, Beckham will most likely feel extremely disrespected and that feeling is likely to manifest itself on the field.
To nickel-and-dime Beckham will reflect badly not only to potential free agents but to the players on the roster now. How will Sterling Shepherd feel when his time comes? How will the other leaders on the team feel when it is time to talk extension if the Beckham saga drags on for the next four seasons?
We all know how great a receiver Beckham is and so do the Giants. Keeping him on the cheap is good business until it hurts your business. The right thing to do (which is why it probably won’t happen) is to follow the iconic words of Teddy KGB from the movie Rounders and…
The Greg One
On Tuesday, the deadline for NFL teams to pick up the fifth-year options for first-round selections from the 2014 NFL draft. Twenty-three players have had their options picked up by their respective teams. Nine players have had their options declined by their respective teams. Those nine players will be unrestricted free agents in the 2018 offseason.
Here’s a refresher of Round One from the 2014 NFL Draft. Draft table provided courtesy of WikiPedia:
As you can see, quite a few stars were born in that draft class whom have become household names today. Odell Beckham Jr., Kahlil Mack, Jadaveon Clowney, Mike Evans, Ryan Shazier, Jason Verrett, Aaron Donald and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix headline the make-good stories from 2014. Suffice it to say those players have all had their options picked up by their respective teams.
This draft will also be known for being the year a brash, young gunslinger named Johnny Manziel was selected. Partying and flashing his signature ‘money’ finger gesture proved to be more important than showing up to practice and putting the needed work in to succeed.
Today, no one knows where he is and more sadly, no one cares. Manziel will forever be a bust and a cautionary tale to all first-round draft picks that just because you’ve been selected; it doesn’t mean you’ve made it. Listed below are the nine Class of 2014 players who will not be with their original teams once the 2017-2018 season comes to an end.
Greg Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Calvin Pryor, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Kyle Fuller, Marcus Smith, Dominique Easley and Justin Gilbert.
Who from this list, if anyone, would you like to see the Bolts pursue in 2018? Post your thoughts below.
The Greg One
After an exhilarating victory over the defending Super bowl champion Seattle Seahawks last week, the Chargers now travel east to Buffalo to face an undefeated Bills squad.
Do not sleep on the Buffalo Bills, Charger fans. This team features a stout defense and some electric players on offense. Their special teams units are impressive, as well.
When looking at the defensive line in Buffalo, it doesn’t take long to see that they are disruptive and fierce. Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus combined for 18 sacks in the middle of the line in 2013 ( Williams with 10.5 and Dareus with 7.5 ). Defensive end Mario Williams led the team with 13.5. Can you see the pattern here? The Bills not only create pressure, they finish plays on the other side of the opposing team’s offensive line. As if that isn’t impressive enough, opposite Mario is Jerry Hughes. He tallied 10 quarterback sacks last year.
The Charger offensive line will have their work cut out for them on Sunday. Both Rich Ohrnberger and Johnnie Troutman are a little banged up but it’s expected they’ll play.
Manning the middle of the linebacking corps is former New England Patriot Brandon Spikes. This is his first year with the Bills and he provides a solid presence at middle linebacker. The aforementioned front-four down linemen make it easier for him to make plays.
The Bills are currently ranked 27th in passing defense. The secondary may be where the defense is lacking quality. The starting cornerbacks are Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore. While both are athletic, these two could see a lot of action in week 3 as the Bolts and Philip Rivers may choose to air it out. Nickell Robey sees a lot of time as the slot corner. Although he is a bit undersized, he has good speed and playmaking ability.
Now a look at their offense.
As soon as you watch the Buffalo offense on tape, both CJ Spiller and Sammy Watkins stick out. The two former Clemson Tigers have great speed and are capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. Joining Spiller in the backfield is Fred Jackson. He runs hard and is very physical. Missing tackles is not an option for the San Diego defense. I think Jackson just stiff-armed Chicago safety Chris Conte again on his way to a touchdown. Jackson is a beast.
Here comes the vulnerable part of Buffalo’s offense. At quarterback, the Bills have EJ Manuel as their signal caller. He had a rough preseason but he’s limited turnovers thus far through two games of the regular season. He is a mobile QB that is trying to stay in pocket more often. That could end up being the key to a San Diego win. Containing Manuel and forcing him to makes throws while under duress is paramount. The Chargers must pressure him into making mistakes. And I think they’ll do just that.
One new wrinkle in Buffalo’s special teams game in 2014 is using CJ Spiller at kick returner. As evidenced last week by a kickoff returned for a touchdown, he is a threat to score on each and every return opportunity. The Chargers special teams coverage is very good. But they have their work cut out for them with Spiller back there. Both Darrell Stuckey and Seyi Ajirotutu will spearhead the attack and try to keep him from ripping off a big return.
The Bolts are coming off of an emotional, intense win over Seattle. That being said, don’t expect them to take this game lightly. Health will play a factor for San Diego. The team will be without Ryan Mathews and Melvin Ingram. It is still unknown if rookie Jerry Attaochu will play on Sunday seeing as he is currently listed as questionable for the contest with a hamstring injury.
Philip Rivers and the offense need to continue to control the tempo and score points. Settling for field goals won’t cut it this week. Even if you’re winning the time of possession battle, touchdowns must be scored in order to walk away victorious.
After having a tremendous game in week 2, and winning AFC offensive player of the week, Antonio Gates has another chance to step up as he may again be the x-factor. The rapport between Rivers and Gates could end up being the difference between a win and a loss. Keenan Allen is listed as questionable with a groin injury. It would be a huge blow if he was to miss the game. He suffered the ailment in practice earlier this week.
Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead will see the bulk of the work at running back. I am not sure fans understand what life without Mathews toting the rock will be like for the next month or so. He will be missed and it could be obvious immediately. Mathews is a physical back that churns hard for yards. Neither Brown nor Woodhead are that type of runner. The team will most likely have Branden Oliver listed as active for this game as the third ball carrier. He could see a few touches, but don’t expect to see too much from the undrafted free agent.
In an effort to appease the fanbase that wants to see more Ladarius Green, this could be a game where you see a lot more two tight end formations. The Chargers can exploit the linebackers and the safeties of Buffalo by utilizing both Green and Gates this week.
A healthy Malcom Floyd is another strong option come Sunday. His height can be a mismatch and used to take advantage of the corners. Look for him to have a solid game and step up if Allen is unable to play. ( Fingers crossed that Keenan is out there! )
John Pagano and the defense will have to be aggressive. There cannot be any soft shell coverage or prevent defense. An attacking, physical gameplan is critical this week. Though Ingram will be missing the game, Dwight Freeney will be called upon to wreak havoc and create pressure. After missing last week’s game, Brandon Flowers is back and will start. That is huge for the team. Jason Verrett played admirably in his absence. He’s had a solid two games as a rookie. But the team needs Flowers out there.
The status of Jahleel Addae is also a question mark. He is back to practicing, but he had yet to that until recently. Addae hadn’t practiced since August 15th. San Diego has Marcus Gilchrist and Richard Marshall to take the reins at the strong safety spot if Jahleel is unable to go. It would be nice to have the hard-hitting SS back in the mix and contributing on the field.
Donald Butler and Manti Te’o will have a lot on their plate. Both Spiller and FJax are dangerous in their own ways. It will be necessary to take the appropriate angles and wrap up upon contact. First and second down are crucial to having success. Forcing the Bills into third and long is very important. This allows the pass rushers to pin their ears back and get pressure.
This game against Buffalo should not be taken lightly. Many people had this marked as a definite win for the Bolts prior to the season beginning. Not so fast, my friends. They are a formidable opponent and San Diego must bring their A-game to fly back home to America’s finest city with a victory.
I see the game turning out in San Diego’s favor. Look for a close game with a score of 27-23. So the answer to the question in the title is yes. That would mean the Chargers go back home and then get ready to focus on beating the Jacksonville Jaguars after leaving Ralph Wilson Stadium with a 2-1 record.
Thanks a lot for reading.
Knowing that the Chargers are preparing to travel east to western New York, I thought it would be appropriate to snag a little information on the Bills from one of their biggest supporters. Del Reid is a very knowledgeable fan of the Bills and I really appreciate him taking the time to answer a few questions.
Booga: Can you give us a little bio about yourself to start this off?
Del: My name is Del Reid and I’m the (accidental) co-founder of the #BillsMafia movement on social media, and I also run 26shirts.com, a website that sells a different Buffalo-sports themed t-shirt every two weeks and gives $8 per shirt sold to needy families. I’ve done work with Time Warner Cable Sports television channel here in New York, and have hosted various podcasts and the like over the past several years.
I grew up in a home that had a framed photo of OJ Simpson on the wall, until around 1994. The Bills are in my DNA.
Booga: The Chargers travel to Buffalo in week 3 to take on the Bills. What kind of atmosphere should the team expect from the fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium?
Del: If it’s anything like it was for the week 2 blowout of the Dolphins, expect it to be crazy. I was at the game last week and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that 90% of the stadium stood for the duration. Bills fans are flying high right now with the news that a new owner is in place whose plan is to keep the team in Buffalo for the long haul. Also, oh yeah. The team is 2-0.
Booga: The Bills have an electric runner in CJ Spiller. How is he used in the Buffalo offense?
Del: Good question. CJ splits time with Fred Jackson in the backfield, much to the chagrin of fantasy football owners across the country. He’s a “home run” threat that has the potential to take it to the endzone every time he touches the ball. That said, in 2013, the new coaching staff kept trying to get him to run through the line, instead of allowing him to bounce it to the outside like he prefers to (and was encouraged to by the previous regime).
The most obvious change for CJ Spiller this year is that the coaches now have him returning kickoffs, which is something he hasn’t done for several years. But as I said, he’s a home run threat. He proved this last week when he returned a kickoff for a touchdown and was subsequently name AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Booga: The defensive line in Buffalo is a serious force to be reckoned with. When looking at Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Jerry Hughes and Mario Williams, what do each of those players bring to the table?
Del: This defensive line may be the best that is currently assembled in the NFL. Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams are both Pro Bowl defensive tackles that require double-teaming. Problem is, offensive lines can’t double-team both. Dareus has a combination of speed and strength that becomes painfully obvious against middle and lower tier centers and guards. Same goes for Kyle, who is one of the quickest defensive lineman off the snap in the NFL.
Both Mario Williams (another Pro Bowler) and Jerry Hughes are coming off double-digit sack seasons, and appear to be picking up right where they left off.
Mario Williams is, well.. Mario Williams. Some may call him overpaid, but no one in Buffalo is complaining about 25.5 sacks in 38 games played for the Bills.
Many thought that the departure of Mike Pettine was going to affect Hughes’ performance here in Buffalo (he was considered a first round bust after never really showing much during his three years in Indianapolis) but that doesn’t seem to be the case. His presence has been visible during the past few games, and he registered his first sack of 2014 last week against Miami.
Booga: Sammy Watkins seems to already be making his mark. His speed is impressive and it looks like EJ Manuel isn’t afraid to throw it up and let him make plays. What are your thoughts on the rookie wideout?
Del: Love Sammy! His catch radius is insane, which is a necessary trait when you have a young QB who has struggled with accuracy issues. He seems to be worth the investment the team made in him last May when they traded up to draft him. I mean, as much as you can after 2 games.
Booga: Speaking of EJ Manuel, he seemed to be struggling during the preseason. How much confidence do the Bills have in him?
Del: EJ had a rough preseason, but now that the regular season has begun, the coaches have game-planned well for him and the offense. A reliance on the running game and a strong defense have put him positions to succeed (for example, last week the average drive start began at their own 43). His completion percentage is at 66.7% after two games, and he’s only thrown one pick (a result of his receiver falling down) which isn’t something you can really complain about.
Booga: Going into this year’s draft, there were a lot of question marks surrounding Seantrel Henderson. How has he played thus far and is he vulnerable to speed-rushing defenders?
Del: Henderson has played out of his mind this past summer and two regular season games. That said, the diamond in the rough *has* had help manning the RT position. Last week he was assisted at different times by RB Fred Jackson and TEs Scott Chandler and Chris Gragg in handling Cameron Wake.
Booga: Is there an under-the-radar player on the Bills the Charger fans should keep an eye on?
Del: RB Boobie Dixon, a free agent acquisition from the 49ers this past offseason, is averaging one “big play” a game so far. Week one against the Bears, he ripped off a 47 yard run and last week on special teams, he blocked a punt against Miami. Interested to see what he has up his sleeve for week 3!
Booga: Now it’s time to put you on the spot. Who wins the game and why?
Del: The Chargers are 16-16 in Eastern Time Zone games over their past 32, as I understand it. Take that stat, bundle in a rowdy crowd and the possibility of a “letdown” game after beating the Super Bowl champs, and I like the Bills 24-21.
Thanks go out to Del Reid for taking the time out of his schedule and doing this interview. I love his tweets and you can follow him on Twitter, @mrdeadlier. What a great guy and he provided the Charger fans with awesome insight. Thanks again, Del.
We’re two days away from Thursday’s NFL Draft. I’m looking forward to returning to New York City for a second year in a row with all intention of getting some great interviews, photos and coverage for you, loyal BoltBlitz readers.
We’re all looking forward to seeing what the Chargers will do in the draft and if GM Tom Telesco can have as successful a draft as he did last year. This is shaping up to be a very exciting draft, full of twists and turns. In my opinion, there will be far more wheeling and dealing than we saw last year. Here are some of my observations of what we will see over the draft’s three days.
Houston will take Johnny Manziel. The talk out of Houston is about everyone but Manziel, which usually means they’re most likely picking him. They will be smart and trade out of the number one spot with Atlanta or Oakland, adding an extra pick and taking Manziel at 5 or 6. Houston’s biggest weakness is the quarterback position and the most famous/best quarterback in the state of Texas is Manziel. A pick for Johnny Football will bring people back to the stadium, get cash registers ringing and sell season tickets at a nauseating rate. This is the perfect professional and financial fit for the Texans, and the buzz will make their fans forget all about Matt What’sHisName.
San Francisco will trade into the top ten. The 49ers have 11 picks in this draft and there is no way they use them all. Eleven picks would take up 20% of their opening day roster. San Francisco is desperate for a big-time wide receiver to play opposite Michael Crabtree. No to mention they’re looking for the heir apparent to Anquan Boldin, who is still productive but only has a year or two left in the tank at age 33, a geezer by NFL standards. Don’t be surprised if they package three of their picks to jump ahead of Tampa and claim Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans.
Picking at 25, my gut instinct says San Diego will pick Louis Nix III. The biggest hole on the team is at nose tackle where they only have one player who could play the position if they had to play a game today, Sean Lissemore. Nix is the most pure nose tackle in the draft, often compared to Vince Wilfork. If Nix is gone, I think the Chargers will trade out of the first round with a team that wants to re-enter the draft such as the quarterback-needy teams like Cleveland, Tampa Bay or Oakland.
Dallas will move out of their spot at 16 and overdraft a player they could have had in the second round. Such is life when Jerry Jones runs the war room. Dumb things happen.
At least two big name veteran players will be dealt during the draft.
Six quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round.
Five teams will not pick in their designated slot so that means at least five trades, three of them involving the top ten slots.
Last season, the Chargers had a groundbreaking draft and I can’t help but give myself some credit for bringing some good Chargers karma into the building. Remember the commercial about superstitious fans? That’s me. I’m going to try to find the same seat I was in last year!
I’m looking forward to bringing you live coverage, blogs and hopefully some great interviews. I will be live-tweeting as long as the battery on my iphone holds out. RCMH is a drafty, cavernous building that seems to sap the life out of cell phones with alarming speed. I will not be opposed to the NFL moving the draft to a different venue such as Honolulu or Las Vegas maybe….hmmm. Are you listening, Mr. Goodell?
Stay tuned, Chargers fans. Here’s hoping the Chargers war room yields results as good or better than last year!
The Greg One
Despite what many of us would consider to be a difficult time – waiting this long for the draft to occur, that is – we are less than a week from the NFL’s premiere offseason activity. The cattle call that is the NFL draft will be taking place before you know it. I’ll be in New York City in the blink of an eye. I’m on a plane as we speak, heading to Charlotte to see my amazing children. Then it’s time to take over NYC and the NFL draft. ( Editor’s Note: I began writing this on 5/3)
This is a big year for the Chargers and Tom Telesco. After having what many of us consider to be a solid 2013 draft class, the hope is to replicate last year’s success. Telesco nailed three potential first rounders in the first three rounds of the draft in his first go-around as an NFL GM. Perhaps, the expectation level increases knowing that a player like Stevie Williams, a fifth-round selection, has yet to play in a regular season game. Tourek Williams made the occasional play as well, despite being a sixth round pick. Additionally, Brad Sorensen managed to stay on the ’13 roster as the third quarterback. That could say a lot about what the team has in mind for the former Southern Utah signal caller.
I find it safe to say that the 2013 draft was a success. And, I think that most people in here would agree. But does that put even more pressure on Telesco to trump his rookie attempt at building the team through the draft? Sure, I can get behind that kind of thinking.
Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Marcus Martin, C, USC
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The NFL did a great job, in my opinion, of mixing up the prospects. So, the question remains, and I’ll leave it to you, is the next Charger going to be an invitee to Radio City Music Hall? Popular mock draft choices landing in America’s finest city such as Louis Nix III and Kyle Van Noy were not invited ( That is according to the above list which is credited to NFL.com).
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.