As the New York Giants have made some cheap and inexpensive signings this off-season, some of their valuable free agents defected to other teams. WR Domenik Hixon was the latest example of this when he joined LB Chase Blackburn in signing with the Carolina Panthers. Hixon spent six seasons with the Giants, winning two championships. However, Hixon has battled numerous injuries during his tenure, making it a little easier for the Giants to allow him to walk.
Hixon was acquired by the Giants after being released by the Denver Broncos in his rookie season. With the Giants Hixon found a home, making special teams plays while trying to climb the wide receiver depth chart. In Week 2 of the 2011 season, in a Monday Night game against the St. Louis Rams, Hixon tore his ACL catching a touchdown pass. Therefore, Hixon missed the Super Bowl run the Giants made throughout the season.
Hixon was the third wide receiver again this past season. He was fairly reliable, making solid catches and getting open for QB Eli Manning when the defense paid attention to WR Hakeem Nicks and WR Victor Cruz. However, Hixon missed three games due to injury, which has ruined many of his seasons. Hixon only played all 16 games once with the Giants, and that was back in the 2008 season.
Now that Hixon is with the Panthers, WR Rueben Randle is primed to become the third wide receiver. Randle had flashes of brilliance throughout the season, developing some chemistry with Manning. The Giants will need Randle to step it up for the 2013 season if the Giants are to improve their passing attack from last season. Manning fell short of 4,000 passing yards, the first time he’s done so since the 2008 season.
Randle was only a rookie last season, so there’s a good amount of potential still untapped. If Randle can become that reliable third wide receiver, the Giants’ passing attack will be dangerous like it was in 2011.