New York Giants: Will Team Be Able to Bring Back Hakeem Nicks for 2014?

Hakeem Nicks

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Will the New York Giants be able to bring back wide receiver Hakeem Nicks at the end of the year? We’re a ways away from having to actually answer this question, but it’s something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Hakeem Nicks has donned the Big Blue colors every year since he was taken by New York in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He put his playmaking ability on display immediately, catching six touchdowns in his rookie campaign.

During the Giants’ 2011 Super Bowl run, Nicks put up monster numbers. In two games against the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers, Nicks compiled 13 receptions, 280 yards and four touchdowns.

However, 2012 may have been the year when Nicks’ impact was felt the most. Nicks played in 13 games but wasn’t even close to 100 percent as he tried to overcome a lingering knee injury. The Giants’ offense sputtered along trying to carry the anchor-sized weight created from Nicks’ absence. New York would ultimately miss the playoffs.

Once again, both Nicks and Victor Cruz are healthy but other problems have rushed to the surface. For example, the offensive line is in shambles. The defensive line isn’t good enough to breathe within three feet of any quarterback. The linebacking corps could be replaced by the practice squad and nobody would know the difference. You get the idea.

In the offseason, the Giants signed Cruz to a six-year, $46 million contract. Nicks is going to be looking for a major contract as well, which would mean the Giants investing a tremendous amount of coin into their wide receivers.

Can the Giants really afford to pay another wide receiver a substantial amount of money when they have so many other positions to address?

The way the Giants are playing right now, it doesn’t seem feasible. The Giants have to improve drastically in certain areas, and bolstering their unit of wideouts may not be the right move.

The final decision may also hinge on the play of Rueben Randle. An increase in Randle’s production as the third wide receiver may make it easier for the Giants to part ways with Nicks. If the Giants think that Randle proves enough this season to step into an even larger role next year they will say goodbye to Nicks.

It’s tough to imagine Nicks in another uniform. He’s earned his way into the hearts of Giants’ fans and is a part of New York Giants history. The Giants will try to bring him back, but if the season continues on its downward plunge they will have to let Nicks walk.

Daniel Brennan covers the New York Giants for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DBrennan30 and add him to your network on Google.

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