Although his agent insists he's not missing Organized Team Activities (OTAs) because he's unhappy with his contract, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has not communicated with the New York Giants since he said he was ready to assume a leadership role. And although missing OTAs isn't a major concern to defensive captain Justin Tuck, he admits the lack of communication is a bit worrisome.
“That’s kind of worrying that you don’t communicate," Tuck told the New York Post on Thursday night at his R.U.S.H for Literacy charity billiards tournament at Slate NYC in Manhattan. “Hakeem is young, he might not understand the importance of that part of it but I’m not worried about him being ready for the season. I know Hakeem, wherever he is, he loves to work out, he’s doing what he needs to do to be ready for the year but that’s what coaches do, they’re supposed to be 'Get in here.' "
On Thursday, Nicks' agent, Peter Schaffer, made it clear that neither he nor his client were willing to discuss his absence from Giants' workouts, saying simply "Hakeem's good."
Of course, these comments raised red flags in the eyes of many, including a flock of fans who insist this holdout/non-holdout has to be money-related. However, there's nothing to support that as OTAs are voluntary and it's Nicks' right to choose whether or not he wants to attend. Then again, his absence isn't as much a concern with everyone as is the lack of communication.
“I definitely let the head coach, strength coach, position coach, I would definitely let them know," Tuck added. “That’s a respect of it. All of us want to be in OTAs, all of us love playing the game and want to be with our friends and our teammates and getting better. But sometimes you got other things you need to take care of and unfortunately this is only time in our busy schedule we might have opportunity to do so."
Head coach Tom Coughlin also addressed the issue on Thursday, claiming that Nicks had previously told him he'd attend OTAs "at one point," but that he had not heard a word from him since. And, as you might expect, that left the veteran coach in a mood that was less than chipper.
"Am I disappointed? No, I'm glad," Coughlin said sarcastically. "Certainly I am [disappointed]. At one point Hakeem told me he was going to be here, and then he was not here. In the strictest interpretation, everyone knows it's a voluntary program."
The second series of OTAs will conclude today (no media availability), with the final series scheduled to run from June 3rd through the 7th.
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