Report: Giants prepared to move on from wide receiver Hakeem Nicks
Nothing in the way of a major surprise here, but the New York Giants are not expected to re-sign impending free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. According to Rapoport, Nicks was fined “repeatedly” for being late to mandatory team activities and for missing treatments with the team’s medical staff.
The 26-year-old Nicks could pose a difficult case on the free-agent market alongside names like Eric Decker, Anquan Boldin, Jeremy Maclin and Emmanuel Sanders. After averaging 77.5 catches, 1,122 yards and nine touchdowns over the 2010 and ’11 seasons, Nicks’ production plummeted in 2012 and ’13 as he struggled to stay healthy. He caught just 53 passes last year and finished with 56 in 2013; he also failed to score a touchdown during this past campaign.
“I still think (Nicks) can be a good player,” Giants GM Jerry Reese told the New York Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano. “He has to stay healthy and focus more on what he’s doing.”
Those reported team-imposed fines could make Nicks a tougher sell to a receiver-needy team. Same goes for a relatively loaded WR class in the 2014 draft — teams may hold off chasing Nicks or other free agents in hopes of upgrading with cheaper, younger options come May.
“We all know this is where I want to be,” Nicks said earlier in January, per The Star-Ledger’s Conor Orr. “[But] I understand the business side.”
The Giants seem prepared for Nicks’ possible departure thanks to the presences of Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle. That duo likely would be the Giants’ 1-2 combo next season, should Nicks leave. Cruz has led the team in receptions each of the past three seasons, while Randle delivered 41 grabs in 2013.