In last week’s OTAs, the New York Giants were without their top two wide receivers, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. Cruz’s absence is tied to his ongoing contract negotiations with the Giants, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for Nicks.
The 25-year-old Nicks is prepared to play out the final year of his rookie contract and become an unrestricted free agent next summer, according to NFL.com.
The Giants would be wise to sign Nicks to a long-term contract extension, but with just over $4 million of cap room, the Giants won’t be able to extend the contract of both Nicks and Cruz prior to the 2013 season. The terms of Cruz’s extension could very well determine whether the Giants are able to sign Nicks in 2014.
Nicks, who will make $2.73 million in 2013, is in no rush to sign a long-term contract with the Giants. That’s likely because Nicks’ suffered through the worst season of his four-year career in 2012.
Hampered by injuries to his foot and knee, Nicks had just 53 catches and registered career-lows with 692 yards and three touchdowns. During last season’s OTAs, Nicks suffered a broken bone in right foot that caused him to miss three months of action and affected him throughout the season.
Nicks is clearly out to prove this season that he’s a No. 1 wide receiver worthy of a contract similar to the one given to Mike Wallace by the Miami Dolphins. Given the value of wide receivers in today’s NFL, the 6-foot-1 Nicks could make himself a lot of money with a return to form this season. Unfortunately, that means that Nicks is likely to land elsewhere in free agency.
In that case, Nicks’ absence from OTAs, like his future, remains a mystery.