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Could Jeremy Maclin Be a Free Agent Option for New York Giants If Hakeem Nicks Leaves?

January 14th, 2014 at 3:14 PM
By Doug Rush

The closer we get to free agency for the NFL, which will begin on March 11th, the growing feeling only increases that Hakeem Nicks won't be back for the New York Giants.

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.

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rueben Randle, Victor Cruz

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15 Responses to “Could Jeremy Maclin Be a Free Agent Option for New York Giants If Hakeem Nicks Leaves?”

  1.  BigBlueGiant says:

    I dont see it happening, in fact, I see it the other way around. I see the Eagles going after Nicks.

    That said, I said it early on in the season that we will be drafting in a spot to take one of the better WR’s in the draft. I just don’t see a OT that’s really worthy of us drafting at #12.

    I think O-line needs to be addressed in FA like they did with Makenzie a few years back. Draft a WR ( plenty worthy of the 12th spot), Then draft Yankie in the 2nd round.

  2.  BigBlueGiant says:

    doug, is this an opinionated editorial or is there rumors floating that Maclin will be targeted by us?

  3.  jerseyrich says:

    Sounds like Graziano was just throwing stuff against the wall here. The injury will obviously bring his salary down, but I still don’t think the Giants would be able to pay him more than 4-5 a year tops. Dont see it happening. I have a feeling that quite a few eggs are going to be put in the Jerrell Jernigan basket for 2014.

    BTW…. http://overthecap.com/calculator/?Team=Giants. Its a cool calculator option that lets you play around with the existing roster and see what the cap would be if you were to cut, extend, etc. any player on the roster.

    •  Krow says:

      $nee, Myers, Webster … all 3 yield big savings. Everyone else … not worth it.

      •  jerseyrich says:

        Yeah, exactly. Not even really worth it to worry about guys like kiwi and baas….don’t know why so many are so worried about cutting them this year, especially kiwi who is still halfway decent.

  4.  TroyThorne says:

    Would rather just draft someone. There are some good WRs coming out this year.

    •  jerseyrich says:

      Fine, but please not in the 1st round.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        why not? There’s better value at WR in the first round than there is for O-line. FACT.

        •  jerseyrich says:

          Yes, and the BPA is the best approach, as we’ve seen, right? We need to trade down then. If Bridgewater somehow drops to us do we draft him?

          If robinson gets to us then draft him, if not then trade down and get lewan, or trade down a little further and get yankey. Unless we kill it in FA with the o-line, I will be rather disgusted if our 1st rd pick isn’t an o-lineman.

  5.  Krow says:

    He’s blown out a knee, so he’d be a good fit. Can never have too many injured players.

  6.  JimStoll says:

    to not pay Nicks because he under-performed possibly due to injury, and then turn around and sign Maclin who didn’t play at all due to an ACL (far more serious than any injury Nicks has ever suffered), wiould be grounds to fire Reese on the spot

    •  stuh says:

      Perfect fit more damaged goods.
      With the signing a punter to the reserve team. Maybe they will play him in the pre- season so Weatherford won’t be worn out by the time the regular season begins. Most of the pre-season they couldn’t make a 1st down and he was kicking way too much. I never understood why they didn’t have another kicker on the pre-season roster. Great planning.

    •  Eric S says:

      Depends on the size and length of the deals. Nicks might price himself out of our budget and I’m not paying him $10 million per after these last 2 years. If Philly lets Maclin walk and he’s amenable to a one year reestablish your value contract then I think it would make sense.

      •  jerseyrich says:

        Agree. If he’s healthy (big if) its a move to make. The guy is a very good receiver. Id personally look to one of the healthy 2nd tier receivers, but the Giants may not even be able to afford that.

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