With the New York Giants struggling this season the rumors that have swirled around impending free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks won’t stop until he is either traded or the trade deadline passes. There have been tons of articles pointing out why the Giants should deal Nicks but the truth is that they shouldn’t.
Yes, Nicks is a free agent at the end of this season and will likely command a larger deal than the Giants are willing or able to give. The Giants are close to the cap right now and there doesn’t look to be a ton of relief coming after the season although there will be plenty of roster moves made which will free up some money. The problem is, as this season has shown, the Giants are a team full of holes.
The Giants may lose Nicks after this season and only receive a compensatory draft pick but that is a risk the Giants must take because trading Nicks sends the wrong message, not only to the fans but the players in the locker room.
Trading Nicks would be a white flag, a sign of surrender to a season full of tough breaks, wrong turns and everything in between. Trading Nicks might bring in a draft pick or two but losing a player of Nicks’ caliber would crush what little spirit the team has left. It would also guarantee his departure for good from the team whereas the Giants still have a shot at re-signing their star wideout, no matter how slim that chance is at this point.
Nicks has shown he still has the ability to play this game and do so at a high level. He has 25 catches for 442 yards this season and while this season has been far from his best showing it is still a pace good enough for over 1,000 yards receiving. We also know that with Nicks in the lineup, Victor Cruz plays a much better game.
The Giants passing attack is one of the few things that hasn’t completely imploded. It hasn’t been without its problems such as Eli Manning’s interceptions, dropped passes and even a few instances of giving up on routes as Nicks did two weeks ago that led to an interception. Still, the Giants are a much better team with Nicks than they are without him.
Without Nicks the Giants would be asking Rueben Randle to take the next step and be the leading receiver on the outside. While Randle has shown a ton of promise he has also shown he isn’t ready to take that leap. Without Nicks, the Giants passing attack would wither and it remains their one true hope of salvaging a few wins this season and possibly ending the season on a high note.
Trading Nicks now is not the answer. The Giants are better off keeping Nicks and rolling the dice that he comes back as a free agent. Right now, it seems like the Giants agree but will Jerry Reese change his mind?