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Antrel Rolle Calls Hakeem Nicks a “Silent Killer” and Says Victor Cruz Can Ruin Your Christmas

July 10th, 2013 at 10:00 AM
By Dan Benton

Who is better: Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks? It's a debate that rages amongst New York Giants fans, pundits and other self-proclaimed experts. In fact, it's a regular hot topic here on Giants 101, and a question that was posed to safety Antrel Rolle on Tuesday night while he was making an appearance on NFL Total Access.

Rather than suggesting one is better than the other, Rolle appropriately noted that they are two entirely different wide receivers with different skill sets.

Hakeem Nicks, I think he is a little more deceptive than Victor Cruz," Rolle said Tuesday while appearing on NFL Total Access. “When you look at Nicks you might not think he is moving as fast but when you are up against him, running with him, you understand this guy is moving. His hands are probably the biggest I’ve ever seen on a receiver. I call him ‘The Silent Killer.’ His routes are so smooth. Everything he does is so smooth."

And while Rolle feels Nicks is "The Silent Killer," he also believes Cruz has the ability to damper your holiday spirit.

Victor Cruz is going to always put a little bit of salsa on it. I think he goes out there and gives you the wiggles, gives you the shake and he is exceptionally quick," Rolle said. "If he gets a step on you, you can pretty much cancel Christmas."

Rolle may have told this tale in a rather strange way, but his analysis is spot on. You have two uniquely talented receivers that compliment each other perfectly — it's a rarity in the NFL. And there are points to be made on both sides about who is better than whom, but the fact remains: they're both better players when the other is on the field.

Photo credit: Football Schedule / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Football, Hakeem Nicks, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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17 Responses to “Antrel Rolle Calls Hakeem Nicks a “Silent Killer” and Says Victor Cruz Can Ruin Your Christmas”

  1.  Krow says:

    Will the Giants a) be able to … and b) decide to … pay Hakeem Nicks between $10-12,000,000 cap dollars a year for 5 years ?

    That’s the only question. It has very little to do with ability. It’s all about managing the cap in the best way to make the team as competitive as possible.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I think the answer is yes, and I think it will be closer to $10MM than to $12MM.

      They’re going to be largely turning over their defense anyway. They’ll build it through the draft (so cheaply). They can afford to allocate a lot of dollars to the wide receiver position for the next part of Eli’s career while building a young, hungry, defense much the way the Niners and the Seahawks did (without, presumably, the Seattle Special Juice, or at least less of that stuff).

      The Giants can keep Nicks no matter what through 2014. That creates leverage when you’ve put a solid offer on the table. When a young man sees an opportunity to get a guaranteed $20-30MM for playing football, I don’t see him deciding to take a chance on playing for a year at $10MM while taking the chance that he gets injured and never sees the rest of those dollars. These guys were here when Steve Smith refused to take the long-term security just months before he was, in effect, through (a VERY fortunate decision, in retrospect, for the Giants).

      If Mara and Reese are wise they will put a $25MM in guarantees deal on the table. If Nicks and his agent are smart they will look at the extra $15MM guaranteed above the money he would get playing under a franchise tag, and take it.

  2.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Ff55, I think you’re missing the point on the WR thing.

    Noone is discrediting Nicks. But facts are that there are BETTER WR in the league than him. And it’s not just stats or what some of us see with our own eyes, it’s truths.

    Again, I think Nicks is terrific when healthy. And i’d like to see him remain healthy in order to establish himself as one of the best again. And I think he will.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Also, Stats are relevant. And so are injuries. And so are stats when players are injured. It’s all taking into account on what makes a player.

    •  Krow says:

      This isn’t the place for nuanced arguments. Either you think Nicks is a HOFer … or you hate him. Sorry, but them’s the rules.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        lol.

        I love me some Hakeem Nicks. And i think he’s a terrific player. But HOF material? Not so sure. Wr’s have a real tough time getting into the HOF as is.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    Again, it’s a silly argument. They’re both wonderful players. And each fills a role that makes this offense go. Where they rank among NFL receivers really doesn’t matter. But clearly, the Giants agree with me that Nicks is the more crucial piece (as they will prove when they make their offer to Nicks), and I think we will see that they consider him a “$10MM man” even if they don’t start there. Given their ability to evaluate their own players, that will tell us all we need to know.

    As for Nicks winding up in Canton, I still say that if he manages to stay reasonably healthy he is a great bet to make it. He’s a faster version of Michael Irvin with comparable strength, better leaping ability, better hands, but a bit less “attitude” (the latter of which went a long way toward making Irvin as great as he was). If he gets a bit more of that attitude he’ll be recognized by one and all as a truly great player.

    By the way, of course injuries matter. But many, many great players have gone through times when they were injured and couldn’t play, or couldn’t perform at their best. I named some the other day. Unless that injury will impact a player’s future performance (and I see no reason Nicks’ problems will) they become irrelevant looking forward. Maybe Reese will stick some playing time bonuses in Nicks’ contract just in case, but I think that might well be overkill.

    In the end, I don’t care whether Nicks makes the HOF, or where he ranks among the league’s best. I just know that a healthy Hakeem Nicks can help us immensely in the quest to win a few more rings, and that’s all any of us really want from him.

  4.  Since 1963 says:

    It doesn’t matter whether Nicks is top five, top ten, or top fifty. What matters are his value to the Giants and what it would cost to replace him. Like any GM, Reese will calculate that replacement cost in dollars (immediate payout and long-term), draft picks, and potential differences in production. What Atlanta, Detroit, Arizona, or any other franchise pays its top receivers, and whether they’re better than Nicks, are secondary. He (and his agent) will try to gauge that, of course, and if the going rate for top-tier WRs is a certain average figure, they’ll ask for that and maybe more. But just because Julio Jones (or anyone else) makes X dollars has no real bearing on whether Reese will pay that to Nicks. If Reese thinks that keeping Nicks is worth that much, he’ll pay–but not because Nicks is or isn’t a better player than Jones. It will be because Nicks is a certain type of player for the Giants, and that Reese figures replacing him would cost more in the long run.

  5.  Krow says:

    Yes, but while what everyone says is all quite true … it’s not the heart of the dilemma.

    Reese has to make a difficult decision in a zero-sum game. The cap dollars you spend on one player are cap dollars you don’t have for others.

    So it’s not as simple as saying we’re a better team with Nicks. Of course we are. No question. But are we a better team if it also costs us JPP?

    That’s the sort of awful balancing act you’re up against. Because it’s all intertwined.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      In today’s league? Probably. But in fact it shouldn’t cost us JPP if we sign Nicks. That day of reckoning is still another few seasons away and by then much of the defense will be moving on (Tuck, Rolle, many of the linebackers, possibly Joseph), to be replaced by draft picks over the next two seasons. Draftees are cheap. We should be able to pay for a top-3 offense without destroying the ability to defend. The core will be JPP, Prince, Hosley, Hill, Moore, perhaps Ojomo, perhaps Williams and Paysinger and Herzlich (if they can be signed at very reasonable prices) and most likely a number of players who are not yet on the team.

      In either case, in today’s NFL if you can secure a great offense you do it and let the devil take the hindmost.

  6.  F0XLIN says:

    “You can pretty much cancel Christmas”

    It’s doesn’t get much better than that

  7.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    Put it this way: say we let Nicks go; when the other “elite” WR’s contracts are up do you A. see their teams letting them walk? and B. see the Giants ponying up the potential 12-15M a year a guy like AJ Green or Julio Jones will see? The answer to both of these are NO. Are there guys better than Nicks? Sure. But as has been beaten to death, there’s no disputing Nicks is a top 10 RIGHT NOW with top 5 ability – and paired with Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, David Wilson, Meyers/Robinson and his knowledge of the system/compatibility with Eli, Nicks is our best option.

    I think the money will be there to pay Nicks. I think he WILL lock down 10M a year, if not more…and like FF55 said, a very hefty amount of guaranteed money. Yes, we are going to have to pay JPP and a few other guys, but we also have/will have several very large contracts coming off the books either after this season or next season, along with the fact that there should be an increase in the salary cap. As has been mentioned, it comes back to if Hakeem wants to stay in NY or if he wants to go home and play in Carolina – who is really the only team I view as a major threat for his services.

  8.  Krow says:

    I’m not saying we absolutely will or won’t sign Hakeem. My guess right now is no … but who can tell for sure? All I’m pointing out is that the decision is a hell of a lot more difficult when you factor in the salary cap. There are a lot of moving parts. Reese will earn his salary facing this one.

  9.  Jason Chmielewski says:

    I don’t think its on the Giants one bit. I honestly think from this point on its all on Nicks. Does he want to stay in NY does he want to go home or is it all about the $$$. Giants will try and sign him they’ll offer him a good contract one that is around his worth. He will be the deciding factor does he want to play in a perennial contender for a good contract or does he want to bolt for home or a ridiculous contract. As fans we just have to show him home isn’t in NC or somewhere else its in NY alongside Eli and Cruz

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