The question that will be facing the New York Giants this offseason is whether to bring back wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and at what price. Nicks, like many of the players on the offense, struggled this past season as he failed to haul in a single touchdown reception.
The Giants have several options to address Nicks and his impending free agency. The Giants can slap the franchise tag on him, which would keep him for a year before they have to negotiate a long-term deal. That would be the safe way to approach Nicks since they are probably unsure of his long-term success after his subpar season.
The Giants can also let him walk and fill the holes at the wide receiver position with familiar faces. Carolina Panthers‘ Domenik Hixon and San Francisco 49ers‘ Mario Manningham are both scheduled to become free agents, and can both be acquired at a relatively low price.
Hixon and Manningham were both key parts on the 2011 championship team, so bringing them back to the Giants would make quarterback Eli Manning a happy man. Manning struggled a lot this season with not being on the same page with his wide receivers at times.
If the Giants were to bring both of them back on one or two-year deals, it would be harmless and it could ease the amount of work Manning would have to do with his wide receivers in the offseason. Manning loves to work with his wide receivers anyway, so he’ll be inviting them over to develop timing and chemistry. However, a sense of familiarity always helps.
The Giants have hired former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo as the new offensive coordinator after the retirement of Kevin Gilbride. Therefore, it is important for the Giants to connect and get on the same page with a new offense upcoming.
Also, Manningham has had two unproductive seasons with the 49ers, and Hixon wasn’t really used at all by the Panthers. It would be wise for the Giants to make this move. Hixon and Manningham would definitely be happy to return.