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Odell Beckham Jr. reports for Giants' offseason program

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Despite talk about a holdout and a potential trade, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program.

New coach Pat Shurmur confirmed that Beckham was in the building Monday alongside his teammates, even though the workouts are voluntary under the collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners.

Beckham, who is eyeing a new contract, stayed away most of last spring.

"He's a professional, and I'm glad he's here today," Shurmur said on a conference call with reporters.

Shurmur had not yet spoken to Beckham as of Monday morning. He did not know whether Beckham planned to stay for the duration of the offseason program, or how frequently he would attend.

Monday was the first chance Shurmur had to address the team as a whole since being hired back in January. It was important to him that Beckham and all his players were there as the Giants attempt to rebuild their culture this spring and summer. They also have to learn new offensive and defensive schemes.

"We understand how this is structured here in the offseason, but it's certainly important in my mind. It's important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it, do it together," Shurmur said. "This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it's important we're all on the same page as we move toward the fall."

The start of the offseason program also marked the first day the new Giants coaching staff was allowed to talk football with the players. Shurmur was set to meet with his players for the first time at 9:15 a.m. His message centered around growing away from the what happened last year during a disastrous 3-13 season where Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese were fired. The dysfunctional Giants also had three players suspended for their conduct.

Beckham wasn't among them. He missed most of last season with a fractured ankle suffered during a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but he still finished second on the team with three touchdown receptions despite playing in just four games. The Giants struggled badly without him, averaging 13.6 points in the 13 games where he either didn't play or was limited.

It was important for the Giants to see Beckham at the facility this spring. They want to see him work out in order to make sure he's running well and pain-free before they're willing to invest long term in his services. They also want to make sure he's willing to buy into the new program being installed by Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman.

Beckham showing up can be viewed as a goodwill offering, and the hope is that this leads to meaningful contract negotiations, something that has yet to happen at any point to date. Beckham wants to remain with the Giants despite the team's brass saying at the NFL meetings that they would listen to offers for their top playmaker, even though they weren't technically shopping him. Shurmur isn't concerned about that affecting Beckham. The two have remained in contact in recent weeks, even meeting in Los Angeles when Shurmur went there to watch quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen throw.

"I'm not worried about it. I really believe Odell is a professional," Shurmur said. "He wants to be great and he understands the importance of the offseason, and he's a competitive guy. "Again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there and was talked about to a great deal."

Monday was a step in the right direction for Beckham and the Giants after a tumultuous offseason. The team wasn't happy when a video surfaced that showed Beckham with what appeared to be a brown cigarette in his hand while a female companion used a credit card to arrange a white powder into lines after a night of partying in France.

This didn't help Beckham's desire to get paid. It's no secret he wants a new contract. He played last year for $1.8 million and is expected to make $8.5 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract this season. A new deal is likely to net him in the range of $60 million guaranteed.

Showing up for the start of offseason workouts is at least a step in the right direction for the two sides.

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