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Report: New York Giants Will Focus on Signing Hakeem Nicks Long-Term This Offseason

February 3rd, 2013 at 10:30 AM
By Dan Benton

With all the talk surrounding wide receiver Victor Cruz and his desire for a new deal, fellow New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has flown under the radar. However, General Manager Jerry Reese & Co. have not lost sight of their #1 and have apparently decided a contract extension for Nicks will be one of their top priorities this offseason.

'Eli Manning Warms Up with Hakeem Nicks' photo (c) 2011, Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports that the Giants will focus on signing Nicks to a long-term deal this season, which may come prior to a new deal for Cruz.

Nicks has only one-year and $2.725 million left on his rookie contract, and will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) in 2014 unless a new deal is reached. And despite the need to re-sign Cruz to a new deal, or risk him possibly holding out, his Restricted Free Agent (RFA) status gives the Giants a little extra time to get things done. John Mara has already mentioned the team may tender him if a deal is not reached by the time free agency starts in March, and that they will "not break the bank" for him.

When Nicks is healthy, he is arguably one of the best wide receivers in the league. Unfortunately, he's been plagued by a variety injuries since his rookie season, and has missed nine games in four years.

In four seasons with the Giants, Nicks has 255 receptions for 3,726 yards and 27 touchdowns.

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Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, John Mara, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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30 Responses to “Report: New York Giants Will Focus on Signing Hakeem Nicks Long-Term This Offseason”

  1.  TuckThis says:

    Of course this ‘sign Nicks long term’ scenario seems to be a ploy to get Cruz to rethink his position…..who knows.

    And if having a cold weather Super Bowl assures we’ll not scantily clad females during the halftime show…then so be it! LOL!

    •  kujo says:

      I’m hoping for a Springsteen halftime show.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I don’t think so. I think it’s simply an indication of which guy they consider critical for the future.

      Cruz will get his money if he’s reasonable (and maybe even if he’s unreasonable from someone else), but he is not nearly as important as is Nicks.

      I just don’t understand why people are so reluctant to admit that while Victor Cruz is a tremendous player the presence of Nicks for another 4-5 years and of Randle for at least four more years, and the ability to use Jernigan or someone else who can get us 85% of Cruz’s production, makes him expendable, especially when they could get a high draft pick in exchange.

      My guess is, as it has always been, that he is tendered this season and despite a possible holdout until part-way into the season, plays for us in 2013. In 2014 he’s probably gone unless Nicks or Randle gets hurt.

      Reese cannot pressure Cruz. Nor does he have to do so. He knows he has him for 2013 at $2.3MM, which we can afford. Cruz knows that if he will do a reasonable deal he will be able to stay here but if he’s willing to go elsewhere he will get more money for playing, even if quite possibly less overall because of fewer endorsement and other income.

      And pace Nosh, but given what I’m pretty certain is the plan Reese has, if he could get a team to hand over a #1 pick for Cruz before April I suspect he’d be dancing in the aisles. That would be a trade of a guy we don’t desperately need and who would have to get paid significant dollars against the cap to keep to get a shot at a player we absolutely DO need in an area of weakness and keep him for the next 5 years on the cheap. That the logic behind that is not obvious to all bewilders me.

  2.  TuckThis says:

    Before I forget…go Ravens!
    It’s funny. I picked the 49ers early on this year as the best team in football, even while Smith was quarterback. Now, they’re even better. But I am a huge Ed Reed fan and would love to see him win a Super Bowl ring. I know that means that Ray Lewis gets one too, but I’ll take the good with the bad.

    •  kujo says:

      I don’t care who wins. I’ve got small interests on both teams–Ray Rice is a New Rochelle guy, which is where I’m from. And Bruce Miller, San Fran’s fullback and alumnus of the University of Central Florida, where Demo and I attended college.

  3.  kujo says:

    I see there has been some serious argumentation about the value of Nicks and Cruz, and which one we ought to sign. As anyone who has been around here for the last few years knows, I was a late bloomer to the Cruz wagon. Some saw the talent right away–rlhjr, first among them–whereas I wanted to see production against NFL defenses in the regular season before I bought the hype. I eventually did, and have been a huge fan of his since. I think he is a great player, surely the best slot receiver in the NFL, and presents incredible value to us within our offense. He is everything Steve Smith was good at, and everything Smith was lacking. His play speaks for itself, and I want him on my team.

    Nicks, on the other hand, is a #1 receiver, your franchise guy. BigBlueGiants and others want to question his durability, and I say screw it. He’s a big boy who plays big and plays through pain. Was he banged up this year? Hell yeah. But when healthy–which is more often than not, BTW–he is ELITE, can run every route and can go up and get the big catches. I’ve never bought the hype propagated by FF55 about Nicks being a HoFer in the making, but he is your franchise receiver, not Cruz.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Give Nicks another 8-10 years of playing and you’ll see. This guy is a truly exceptional receiver. He’s Michael Irvin with humility.

      •  kujo says:

        Talk to me in 9-10 years, man. I love the guy, but I’m not ready for that sort of pronouncement after 4 years.

      • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

        Tend to agree here. No disrespect to Cruz, but Nicks is clear and away the premiere WR on the team and one of the best (when healthy) in the NFL. He makes Cruz better.

  4.  Dirt says:

    This Nicks/Cruz debate is silly.

    If it ain’t broke (Nicks, Cruz), don’t fix it.

    If it’s broke (Diehl, Canty, Webster, Tuck), fix it.

    •  kujo says:

      A-f’n-men brother!

    •  fanfor55years says:

      You’d be right if there was no cap. Highly unlikely they can keep both if each wants market value. So the debate is not only NOT silly, but has been had within the Giants’ organization, and been resolved exactly as it had to be. Nicks is the one.

      •  Dirt says:

        I mentioned Canty, Diehl, Webster and Tuck (and forgot Boley) because there’s no doubt that salary of those has-beens could more than cover Nicks and Cruz and get some cheaper, young, hungry replacements who would do no worse than the aformentioned.

        Also, while the organization may indeed place higher value on Nicks, I think you’re underestimating the timing of this “news” the day after the news headline read “Cruz doesn’t rule out a lockout”

  5.  rlhjr says:

    The trio of Nicks Cruz and Manningham was almost certainly the most talented and productive set of receivers the Giants have had is a very long time.
    Arguably they were the best assemblage of targets to ever wear Giant blue

    That said, I’ve gone on record saying that Randel has talent on par with Nicks.
    And that puts him ahead of Manningham. Provided Randel gets his work ethic act together this off season and training camp, the combination of he and Nicks will be very potent indeed.

    As for Cruz, I called him talented the first time I ever saw him play. And not just because he was clowning future Walmart shelf stokers. Kid has real talent and instinct for the job. His speed is often overlooked. He’s excellent.
    But he could be gone if his head gets too big. It would be a shame.

    The Giants do not have a third WR remotely close to Cruz talent wise on the roster. I am not very impressed with Jernigan, but would not deny him a chance to prove his worth in the slot.

    If the Giants can keep Cruz, together with Randle and Nicks, they will be at the very top of NFL receiving groups. Not a single group will be head and shoulders above the Giants in the receiving area. While the Giants would rank above many league wide. BOOK IT.

  6.  rlhjr says:

    REPOST:
    Lawrence Taylor, Retired Hall of Fame Linebacker

    “I don’t know if I could’ve done it without Bill Parcells. He didn’t force me to play like everyone had played the last daggone 60 years. He allowed me to be more of an athlete instead of a linebacker, and I think that says a lot about his greatness. If I’d played for another coach on another team, I probably would’ve been a good player. But Bill was the one who made me LT.”

    We have a JPP whom the Giant coaching staff will not let play to his over the top potential. Hate Parcells all you want. On some points I agree. But don’t get it twisted, he had a since of how to get the best out of “HIS” guys. And he also knew when to STFU and get out of the way. And he had help even though he may not think so. In specific, Bill Belichick and Marty Schottenheimer who coached linebackers for the Giants during that time.

    Right now the Giants have only Jerry Reese who recognizes just how special JPP could be if allowed to rush the passer both standing up and with a hand in the dirt. And for the insipid among us, I’m not talking about turning him into a linebacker. I’m talking about letting him be the elite athlete he was born to be vice a plodding overweight DE. Get rid of Fewell when the time comes and get someone with an imagination……….please. Before this kid and other talented young defenders are wasted.

  7.  wrdag says:

    Granted as a NYG fan maybe I’m to biased and someone help me out if I’m wrong….but watching the two careers of one Warren Sapp versus Michael Strahan the HOF vote is quite shocking. Sapp a first time ballot HOF??? Strahan is one of the great sack guys who was not a one trick pony. You get make the case that he played the run as well or better than rushing the passer. Warren Sapp was good, perhaps HOF but first ballot of Strahan, I’m quite surprised.
    Even his own hometown had doubts.
    http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bucs/content/warren-sapp-first-ballot-hall-famer-thats-no-simple-question

    •  rlhjr says:

      The only thing to argue on Sapp’s behave is the fact that he played inside.
      He was a 3 technique DT who with his pus/pass rush and run stopping was really the soul of that defense along with the middle linebacker and Lynch the safety. He provided what the Giants now find themselves in need of. Someone in the middle of the D-line who demands double team and is good enough to make plays despite them.

      Stray was not only a force rushing the passer, he also played the run equally well. God knows he fought through double teams, holds and eye gouges.
      But you could not run on him. And he was freakishly strong in his upper body.
      Even toward the end of his career playing at 250lbs vice 270 he was too much for OT’s the deal with strength wise and athletically. Dude was a freak.

      I think it was a matter of someone on the committee (SALPAL) being a Giant hater. No worries, 92 will make it in.

  8.  Krow says:

    Top tier WRs make around $9 mil a year. We’ve got two of them. Both have delivered … both deserved to get paid.

    You manage the cap by paying your stars … and leveraging them with a cheap supporting cast. Too many middle-tier players is what kills teams. It traps them in mediocrity. We’ve got them in spades. Under-performers on the downside of their careers. Those are the players that need to be sent packing. Not ascending Pro Bowlers like Nicks and Cruz.

    Webster, Diehl, Snee, Boley, Canty, Baas, Bradshaw … they’re the cap killers. Not Cruz and Nicks.

    You don’t let stars walk … not if you want to win a Superbowl.

  9.  LUZZ says:

    I said months ago that JR would deal tough with Cruz. I also speculated that the prize of a 1st round tender would be very interesting and appealing to JR. Most of the long term posters on here told me I was silly at the time, but now it looks as though they are coming around to seeing it as I do/did. I haven’t been proven right yet, but I’ll stick with my very early prediction that JR would love the opportunity to have two first rounders as he knows he could do more with that than most.

  10.  PittsburghJim says:

    Krow-
    I give “manly” compliments out rarely, if ever…..
    but you present the most rationale, even-keeled, TRUTHFUL analysis of
    the Giants of anyone I know or ever read on websites.
    So, there….even though we do not know each other.

    Eli Manning is 30ish and an All-Pro, humble, top notch QB in the NFL.
    AND he’s on our team.

    As Bill Polian did for many years, you SURROUND that rare, elite talent with as many weapons as you can.

    Yes, there is a salary cap….but the team can mamage/manipulate that to their liking. Their liking should be Nicls & Cruz and “others….for 4-5 more years.

    bTW, look at the Niners & Ravens and you’ll see ONE common thing. Big, strong, somewhat mobile offensive lines. We absolutely must get back to that in ’13. Sign Beatty, cut Diehl, draft best OG or RT. No “projects”, hopefuls like Brewer, Petrus, etc….get a bonafide early. I used to HATE that rationale, but we need to address that O-line now.

    Thx

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