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The long-awaited contract talks between star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants are going to start relatively soon.
After months of waiting to see how Beckham recovered from a broken left ankle and how the 25-year-old mended his ways [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/vinny-curry-jersey-cheap]Vinny Curry Jersey Buccaneers[/url] , Giants co-owner John Mara said Thursday the talks with player and his representatives will take place sooner rather than later.
"I think this was the time that we always had in mind," Mara said.
"But I think Odell personally is moving in the right direction. He has come in here with a good attitude. Showed up yesterday with a smile on his face. He's worked hard. I think he's ready to go. He's ready for a great season."
The 25-year-old Beckham is entering the fifth and final season of his rookie contract. He is to earn $8.5 million this season, but the three-time Pro Bowler whose career has been tarnished by off-the- field issues, wants to be among the NFL's highest-paid players, certainly the highest-paid receiver.
Mara refused to say how much the Giants were willing to pay, but noted the franchise wants Beckham to stay for a long time.
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Beckham took part in about 50 percent of the plays in Thursday's workout and later ran sprints on a back field. He looked good.
Beckham has been the catalyst of the Giants' offense since being drafted in the first round in 2014. In 47 NFL games, the former LSU product has 313 catches for 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns.
Fellow receiver Sterling Shepard said Thursday that Beckham seems even more explosive this season.
"He wants to show everyone he still has it," Shepard said.
In a wide-ranging interview with the media on the first day of practice, Mara said he hopes the league and the players union will be able to agree on a national anthem policy. He said the team would wait to see what happened in meetings which he said will take place soon.
"Hopefully we can find a resolution that everyone is open to [url=http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mason-rudolph-jersey]Steelers Mason Rudolph Jersey[/url] ," Mara said.
Mara also said he believes 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning still had several good years ahead of him.
The co-owner also is excited by the unlimited physical skills of running back Saquon Barkley. He is concerned about the hype being thrust on the second overall pick in the draft.
"I think he is capable of living up to it," Mara said. "I think he is mature beyond his years."
Mara says he still has not recovered from last year's 3-13 season that led to the firing of coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese in early December.
However, he admits there is a new feeling in the building with the changes made by new coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman.
Gettleman, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in late spring, is doing well and is currently in remission, Mara said.
Gettleman was in the office Wednesday and spoke to the team.
"I don't think I have ever been around a more upbeat person in my life [url=http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-terrell-edmunds-jersey]Steelers Terrell Edmunds Jersey[/url] , particularly going through what he has been going through," Mara said. "He is optimistic about his recovery and his ability to work this year."
More NFL coverage: ://pro32.ap.org and ://AP_NFL
The Oakland Raiders agreed to a one-year deal Friday with veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson to bolster the middle of their defense.
Coach Jon Gruden said Johnson adds a presence to the defense that was needed.
"He brings us status at a critical position," Gruden said. "He's got a great history in this league, been productive under a lot of different coaches, different schemes. He understands the AFC West and certainly understands this rivalry. I'm really excited to add him to our team."
The 35-year-old Johnson spent his first 13 NFL seasons with the rival Kansas City Chiefs and will likely fill the role at middle linebacker that NaVorro Bowman played the second half of last season.
Johnson has been one of the better linebackers in the league during his career but was allowed to leave Kansas City earlier this offseason as the team tried to get younger.
Johnson is a four-time Pro Bowler and the career tackles leader for the Chiefs.
He appeared in 182 games with 169 starts since being drafted in the first round in 2005. He piled up 1,262 tackles to easily shatter the franchise record [url=http://www.authenticssanfrancisco49ers.com/cheap-weston-richburg-jersey]Weston Richburg Jersey Elite[/url] , had 27陆 sacks and picked off 14 passes, returning four of them for touchdowns.
He had a career-best 179 tackles in 2011, when he was voted the Chiefs' team MVP.
Johnson piled up his impressive stats despite missing part of two seasons with ruptured Achilles tendons. He returned from the first one as good as ever, earning his most recent Pro Bowl trip in 2015, but the second seemed to finally take a step out of his legs this past season.
He had 48 tackles in 15 games last season but slowly lost playing time to younger teammates in the middle of the Kansas City defense.
The Raiders need an anchor in the middle of their defense. Bowman fared well in that role after being signed last October following his release by San Francisco. There was interest in bringing him back for a second season but the two sides couldn't agree on a price.
Oakland didn't address that need at linebacker in the draft until the sixth round last week with the pick of Washington linebacker Azeem Victor.
The Raiders also waived linebacker Cory James with a failed physical designation and cut defensive lineman Armonty Bryant with a non-football illness.
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