While preparing for a New York Giants offense that has as depleted a receiving corps as just about any team has experienced in modern football, Von Miller made a bold claim about the top missing Giant.
The Denver Broncos linebacker resides as the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player, and during a conference call Wednesday, the Super Bowl 50 MVP said Odell Beckham Jr. should not only eclipse his annual salary but become the highest-paid NFL player ever.
“Odell should be the highest-paid player ever in the National Football League,” Miller proclaimed on said conference call with Giants reporters, via ESPN. “He should be the highest-paid player ever, regardless of position. That’s just the type of player he is. It doesn’t matter if it’s quarterback, offensive line, receiver. It doesn’t matter. The type of impact that he has on the globe, the type of viewers that he brings — just him as a player. That makes up for him not playing quarterback. So, he’s a once-in-a-lifetime player.”
Miller is signed to a six-year, $114.6 million contract. It’s not a lock Beckham, who is now entering lengthy rehab after suffering a broken fibula on Sunday, can secure that kind of deal. No wide receiver makes more than Antonio Brown, who owns three first-team All-Pro honors to Beckham’s zero, and he earns $17M annually compared to Miller’s $19M-plus.
To further put Miller’s Beckham viewpoint into perspective, Matthew Stafford leads the NFL currently at $27M per year. So the Giants will likely not be paying a wide receiver, Beckham’s level of impact on and off the field notwithstanding, high-end quarterback money.
But Miller — whose team will face a Giants operation without Beckham, Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris and possibly Sterling Shepard — said the soon-to-be 25-year-old Beckham’s injury shouldn’t deter the Giants from making a historic investment in him.
Being four years younger than Brown, Beckham probably is in line to set a new benchmark for wide receivers. But John Mara and GM Jerry Reese might not be in a rush to do that, given Beckham’s current status and the wideout being under control through the 2018 season.
“There’s no reason that he won’t come back and be the same type of player,” Miller said. “That’s just one of the guys that you invest in. When you get a guy like that, that’s the guy that you invest in, that you want to keep around for his whole career.”