New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks isn't going anywhere; at least he isn't until the end of the 2013 NFL season.
Nicks, the subject of a plethora of rumors over the past several weeks, was not dealt by the Giants before Tuesday's trade deadline. The Giants starting the season at 0-6 coupled with the fact that Nicks is in a contract year resulted in multiple scenarios that would have seen the 25-year old WR leave the franchise this fall pop up throughout TV and Internet reports. All of that proved to be nothing more than speculation, though, as the Giants didn't pull the trigger on a deal before 4:00 pm ET on Tuesday.
This is not necessarily great news for Nicks, who isn't having the type of season that nets a significant pay increase. He is second on the team in receptions with 34 (Victor Cruz has 47), but Nicks hasn't yet found the end zone in regular season play. He had a solid outing in New York's win over the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend, reeling in seven of 12 passes for 51 yards.
It would be unfair to suggest that Nicks is solely to blame for his lackluster numbers. Quarterback Eli Manning had a terrible start to the campaign, although he, like the rest of the team, has rebounded over the past couple of weeks. Most puzzling about the New York offense since September has been the visible lack of chemistry between wide receivers and QB.
Odds are that the Giants did not receive an offer that they perceived as being equal value for Nicks. New York even considering a midseason trade would have signaled to other general managers that Nicks had little or no intention of re-signing with the team come this winter. Another franchise in need of a wide receiver, such as the Green Bay Packers or New England Patriots, giving up a high draft pick this month for Nicks was always unrealistic.
There is one other thing to consider here. The Giants went into their current Bye week winners of two straight. Despite New York's lousy 2-6 record, the team remains but two games out of first place in the NFC East.
It's far from a stretch to suggest that the division is winnable for the Giants. The Dallas Cowboys sit at 4-4, and they have yet to beat a .500 team this season. Quarterback issues are sinking the Eagles more and more with each week. The Washington Redskins, at 2-5, have all kinds of problems.
Trading Nicks would have sent a message to the rest of the New York locker room that 2013 is a lost cause. The standings show that isn't at all the case for any team in the NFC East. Big Blue has three more divisional games left on the schedule; home and away against Washington (away on December 1 and home for the regular season finale) and home against the Cowboys on November 24.
Barring a new contract being agreed to at some point over the next two months, Nicks' future will continue to be a story up through the completion of 2013. All that's known for sure following the trade deadline is that Nicks will be wearing New York blue and white when the team hosts the Oakland Raiders on November 10. Multiple Giants players have insisted over the past several weeks that this team has the goods to make a real run.
New York will need Nicks to be at his best in order to accomplish what would be a historic accomplishment.