My opinion; If the New York Giants don’t reach out to Hakeem Nicks with a new contract offer before the final five games of the season I don’t believe he will resign with the team. And that would be a disappointing turn of events for a team facing a rebuilding effort.
So what has happened between the Giants and their top receiver that has Hakeem Nicks suddenly hating wearing the colors red, white and blue? Hakeem Nicks had been everything the Giants had hoped for when they drafted him in 2009 – as a first round pick pick out of the University of North Carolina. By his second season he was already on his way to becoming a nightmare for opposing defenses and his relationship with Eli Manning both on and off the field suggested that they might well be one the best quarterback- receiver duos’ to ever play in the NFL and the Giants organization.
But that all changed last year during OTA’s when Hakeem ran a simple pattern during practice and suffered a broken foot. Suddenly Hakeem Nicks became an after-thought to the Giants as he went home to rehab himself while Eli began building some much needed chemistry with Martellus Bennett and Victor Cruz.
Two months later, and just before the first game against the Dallas Cowboys Hakeem Nicks returned to the Giants and the staring line up. But only Hakeem knows if he was healthy enough to play football so soon or just feeling the pressure from the coaching staff? Either way he over-compensated for his injured foot and ended up damaging his knee. The rest of the season he became nothing more then a decoy for Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride. When the season finally ended Hakeem Nicks and his teammates went home, while Eli Manning and Victor Cruz went to the Pro Bowl.
That must have been hard for a player with such a lofty reputation to deal with as Victor Cruz the “Salsa – Marketing – Man” was everywhere on television while his new agent, Jay-Z worked the Giants for a hefty contract worth close to 43 million. During that time the Giants didn’t appear to reach out to Hakeem in any way as he sat back taking it all in, waiting for his opportunity this year for a chance at redemption and a big time contract. But that never came either, with the emergence of Rubin Randle.
When Hakeem didn’t show up for OTA’s it was apparent to me that he was telling the Giants coaching staff and the organization I’m not taking a chance on reinjuring my foot especially in my contract year, like it or not. Fast forward to the end of the dismal Panthers game in Carolina this year as Hakeem and Cam Newton laughed and shook hands at the end of the game. It was obvious that Hakeem Nicks could easily go home to Carolina where he was one of the best players to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels – get a nice new contract with a young team heading to the playoffs and once again become a hometown hero.
So, I think we can all say goodbyes to the receiver with the big hands and the even bigger smile. That is unless the Giants decide after this disappointing season to finally show him lots of money and some much needed love!