There are still some who feel that Nicks could return to the team for less money and a shorter contract and hope for a stronger campaign in 2014 that could enhance his free agency value, but some also think that some team in the league could overpay for Nicks despite two straight disappointing seasons in New York, which would then force the Giants and general manager Jerry Reese to find alternate options at the position.
He could look to the 2014 NFL Draft for a wide receiver; Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans have been talked about before as early-round options, but with the Giants desperately needing to upgrade their offensive line to protect Eli Manning, some of those wide receivers may not be around when the Giants are picking again.
So if not the draft, could Reese look to free agency for an option to replace Nicks and maybe even a cheaper solution for a player who is looking for a chance to rebuild his value after missing all of the 2013 season due to injury in Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
Maclin missed all of last season after he tore his ACL before the year even began and because of that unfortunate injury to happen, it may have cost himself a potential payday this spring since he was going to be one of the top wide receivers on the market, but could have a team like the Giants interested if they want to sign a wide receiver in free agency, but don't want to spend a lot on someone.
Dan Graziano of ESPN New York touched on the subject of the possibility of the Giants going after Maclin this offseason and even brought up when the Giants nearly made a trade on the day of the 2009 NFL Draft with the Detroit Lions to take Maclin with the 20th overall pick, but were beaten out by the Eagles, who took him with the 19th pick after they moved up in a draft-day trade to take the former Missouri wideout.
"So I guess my answer is this: A healthy Maclin would make sense for the Giants as a Nicks replacement, and the fact that they preferred him to Nicks on draft day 2009 shouldn't be discounted, as the same people are making their decisions now as were making them then. But if they do want to go that route, they're likely going to have to decide they're sold on the condition of his knee and willing to commit to him beyond just 2014. I would be surprised if that happened, but it can't be ruled out."
The Eagles will have first crack at attempting to re-sign Maclin before he also hits the open market on March 11 and if Philadelphia does re-sign him on the cheap, then this entire conversation becomes a moot point, but Maclin re-signing isn't a sure thing; not if he thinks he can draw interest from other teams around the league.
In his last healthy season for the Eagles back in 2012, Maclin 69 catches for 857 yards and seven touchdowns; numbers he was consistently able to put up in his first four seasons in Philadelphia before the injury. Maclin has always been able to shown a bit of consistency and reliability in the Eagles offense, something that Nicks wasn't able to do in his last two seasons, especially finding the end zone in which Nicks was shut out of in 2013.
With an already established Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle continuing to develop, Maclin could be a solid option for the Giants to look at in free agency and one that won't break their bank either as they have a ton of positions to fill following a disappointing 7-9 season.
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