On Sunday, when the New York Giants didn't play and were resting at home with their 0-6 record, the biggest news was off the field and the possibility of one of their own potentially being sent out of town.
Just an hour before kickoff to the Week 6 Sunday games, the news came down that multiple NFL teams are preparing offers for the Giants with hopes of trying to land number one wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who is a free agent after the season and is playing to land a long-term and high-paying deal in free agency this coming spring.
The 25-year-old Nicks has been healthy thus far and already had produced more on the field in 2013 in six games than he did in 13 games with an injured knee; as he has 25 catches for 442 yards, although with no touchdowns yet. With teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons some of the reported teams to possibly get involved into the Nicks trade sweepstakes, the Giants and general manager Jerry Reese will likely at least listen to see what they will have to offer as far as a trade goes.
So now, it's the one question that people have been asking since 12 p.m. on Sunday afternoon; do the Giants trade Nicks or not. A lot of fans feel strongly on both sides, so let us here break down each side and make a determination on which makes the most sense for the team; both in the short-term and long-term.
WHY THE GIANTS KEEP NICKS:
Before the Giants re-signed Victor Cruz, the Giants viewed Nicks as the priority to keep because he is the true number one wide receiver on the team who can simply dominate a game when he's feeling good on the field and in a rhythm. The Giants weren't sure if they wanted to commit a long-term deal to Nicks only because they wanted to see if he could stay healthy for an entire season, much less most of a season and thus far, he has. Even though he didn't play much in the summer, Nicks has still produced more on the field in 2013 during six losses than he did in an injury-riddled 2012 that saw him play at best, at 60-70 percent. Without Nicks, the Giants do not win Super Bowl XLVI, as Nicks had one of the most memorable postseasons a receiver could encounter and at times, was unstoppable. With Eli Manning, Nicks will find see plenty of passes thrown his way and have a great rapport with each other that they have developed over the last five years. Keeping him in the offense long-term makes all of the sense and shows the Giants fans that the team is committed to winning as opposed to waving a white flag.
WHY THE GIANTS TRADE NICKS:
At 0-6 and three games behind in the NFC East, it's pretty clear that unless a miracle happens overnight, the teams hopes for playing football in January and hosting their own Super Bowl are long gone. With the Giants out of contention, they have that big-time trade chip in Nicks who is not a guarantee to even re-sign with the Giants in March, so if he doesn't come back, why not try to get the most for him during the lost season and get a jump on re-building the team. There are plenty of teams like the four mentioned above who feel that they might need that one more player on offense who can put them over the top if it mean parting with draft picks to get a Super Bowl, then why not part with Nicks if a team is willing to give the Giants a few extra picks in May. Plus, if they Giants decide not to trade Nicks now and hold onto him, and then he suffers a major injury later in the season, then the Giants will have really missed out on a chance to cash in on a chance to get something from Nicks that will replenish the roster and re-load the team for the future.
At this point, the Giants and Jerry Reese aren't being forced into a trade decision they're simply being given offers. They're not dumping a contract and they aren't getting rid of a problem on the team, so they don't have to sell low on Nicks, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports suggested with a third-round pick at best. If a playoff team really wants Nicks, they need to wow the Giants with an offer and make Reese feel like he can be willing to part with Nicks so that they can turn around in May and use the draft pick or picks landed in the deal to stock up on fresh talent.
However, if the Giants don't trade Nicks, then they need to make re-signing him priority number one as soon as the season is over. And with the possibility of a lot of players on the current team not coming back next season, the team will have extra money to sign Nicks to the contract he's been looking for, which may be around Mike Wallace money. If you told all Giants fans right now to clear their heads, and to make their first instinctual response on keeping or letting go of Nicks, most would likely say keep Nicks because they know what he can offer the team when he's healthy and producing on the field as opposed to hoping somebody else can step in and try to replicate his production.
Unless Reese gets the offer he can't refuse from a desperate playoff team hoping to make a run at the Super Bowl, the Giants shouldn't trade Nicks with the expectation of signing him long-term because all it takes is one off-season to draft properly, sign the right players and go from being worst in the league to be being back in the thick of the playoff race again.
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