Hakeem Nicks unlikely to re-sign with Giants
New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was probably as excited as anyone to be entering a contract year in 2013, but things did not play out anywhere close to what he had hoped.
The Giants were horrible for a large portion of the 2013 season, and Nicks was part of the reason why. A dominant playmaker who could only be slowed by injuries early in his career, Nicks did manage to play in 15 games this season (which tied a career high), but he put up incredibly pedestrian numbers, especially considering he was in a pass-first offense that leans on just two receivers. Nicks finished the season with just 56 catches for 896 yards and no touchdowns. Nicks' receptions per game and touchdown total dropped for the third consecutive season - not a good sign for a 25-year-old.
Head coach Tom Coughlin recently spoke to the New York Daily News on his formerly promising receiver's disappointing season. "He had certain things happen this year to him. I'm not talking about injuries," Coughlin said. "I'm just talking about situations where the ball would be there and perhaps a couple times he didn't go for the ball. A couple other times he just didn't get himself open on a continuous basis. It just wasn't a very productive year." Coughlin also addressed Nicks' surprising lack of chemistry with Eli Manning, who has been his quarterback in each of his five NFL seasons.
As a result of both the poor performance and chemistry, the Daily News does not expect Nicks to return to the Giants. It also seemed as if Coughlin was hinting at effort issues on the field ("a couple times he didn't go for the ball"), which is completely intolerable for an old school coach like Coughlin. With Rueben Randle showing promise as Nicks' potential replacement, as well as Jerrel Jernigan coming on nicely late in the year (19 catches for 237 yards and three total touchdowns over final three games), Nicks certainly appears expendable.
However, Nicks' poor season could actually increase the Giants' chances of re-signing him. Before the season, speculation of Nicks leaving New York was a result of an expected high price tag that the Giants would be unwilling to pay. Nicks now may want to sign a one-year deal in an attempt to prove that he is worth more than what he showed in 2013. If the Giants feel that Nicks is capable of a bounce back campaign, they could sign him to a (relatively) cheap one-year deal while he attempts to regain his status as a game-changing receiver.
While Nicks' poor season does make a short-term deal a bit more likely, it still seems like Nicks will ultimately end up playing elsewhere. As of now, there are no leads (outside of pure speculation) as to who Nicks could sign with this offseason.