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Hakeem Nicks Has ‘Close to Zero Chance’ of Returning to New York Giants in 2014 Season: Report

February 21st, 2014 at 4:30 PM
By Douglas Rush

Hakeem Nicks' future with the New York Giants was on thin ice to begin with following two disappointing seasons with the team in 2012 and 2013 and it looks like there won't be a chance for a third one.

Jordan Raanan of the Newark-Star Ledger has reported on Friday that there is "close to a zero chance" that the 26-year-old wide receiver will return to the Giants in the 2014 season and will be finding a new home once the free agent period begins on March 11.

"Nicks, 26, is coming off perhaps the worst season of his career. He didn’t record a touchdown catch and didn’t play in the Giants’ biggest game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys. Put it all together and the chances of Nicks returning to the Giants next season are “close to zero,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation. That would leave the Giants with Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan as the only proven wide receivers currently on the roster for next season."

It's been a foregone conclusion for a while now that Nicks' return to the Giants would be unlikely, especially since it was revealed after the season that Nicks was fined multiple times for being late to team meetings. His regression on the field is also another major factor why he won't be back with the team for a sixth season in New Jersey.

Nicks was the team's first-round draft pick out of North Carolina back in 2009 and arrived with major expectations and for the first three seasons, played like he was one of the best receivers in the entire league, netting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011 and 18 touchdowns during that time, plus a postseason that was for the ages in 2011 that helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI.

But after that year, Nicks was often injured and didn't live up to playing like the number one wide receiver. In 2012, he was held to 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns and missed three games due to a knee injury that plagued him all year. In 2013, he had 56 catches for 898 yards and no touchdowns and only missed one game in late November against the Dallas Cowboys; a game that head coach Tom Coughlin felt that he should have fought harder to play in, but by the end of the season, Coughlin questioned Nicks' desire on the team, another sign that a departure was likely following 2013. When asked about Nicks at the 2014 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Coughlin sounded like someone who was ready to let Nicks walk away.

"He’s a free agent,” Coughlin said. “Who knows? You’d basically like to have all of your free agents back. That doesn’t happen. You have guys that are injured, you have limitations on salary. I’m sure that the [free-agent] market will be where Hakeem will go and we’ll see what happens.”

With Nicks gone, it leaves Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan as the holdovers from last year and the team will either have to look in free agency or May's 2014 NFL Draft for a replacement to take the spot of Nicks.

Photo credit: capturelife16 via Flickr cc


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Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rueben Randle, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz

16 Responses to “Hakeem Nicks Has ‘Close to Zero Chance’ of Returning to New York Giants in 2014 Season: Report”

  1.  jerseyrich says:

    There are more FA wideouts this year than you can shake a stick at, and the draft is fairly deep as well at the position. With the type of production he had….and the apparent “who cares” attitude that he displayed…this was the worst possible year for him to be looking to cash in. For nicks, it is the perfect $&*$ storm.

  2.  James Stoll says:

    I’d really like to know what happened to sour Hakeem

  3.  Nosh.0 says:

    Nicks agent messed up on contract leverage the same way Osi’s did after the 1st SB run.

    The time for Hakeem to seek a new deal and threaten to hold out was coming off the Super Bowl, after Mannigham had left. With Cruz still a one year wonder at that point and Nicks coming off 3 good/great years he probably could have cashed in. His agent waited, and Nicks paid the price. Literally.

  4.  Krow says:

    Isn’t there some sort of rule that you can’t renegotiate until 3 years are up ?

  5.  GIANTT says:

    so now that we have probably seen Nicks body of work with the Giants , how would you classify his career and how would anyone classify it as a draft pick for the Giants ?

  6.  Krow says:

    Much like the trade for Eli, it was a wild success … since without him we wouldn’t have won that 2011/2 Superbowl. Championships are priceless.

  7.  Dirt says:

    The extension of Coughlin is ridiculous. There’s no need for it. Coughlin would ever do 1 of 2 things:

    1. Keep coaching with the Giants
    2. Retire

    If his deal expired, he’d never go somewhere else to start over. He’d just simply hang em up or negotiate another year. What are they worried about, Coughlin winning the Super Bowl, being unsigned, and then going to a competitor? Players thinking a fossil of a coach is nearing the end (which they will anyway)? No way.

    Meanwhile from the Giants perspective, they could have:

    1. Let him play out 2014 and either extend or let him ride off
    2. Extend now, let 2014 play out, and either go at it again for 2015 or fire him.

    They chose 2, which is the only scenario that a) presents the possibility of paying Coughlin $7M for not working if they don’t want him and fire him, b) pisses off everyone else in the organization who feels he should have to earn it like them, and c) pisses off everyone in the locker room who thinks this just keeps $nee around that much longer, also a morale killer.

    I kinda don’t blame Nicks for wanting out. He watched $nee, making literally 10x more, stinking up the joint, needing surgery, play in the Pro Bowl a month after the 2012 season was over, delaying his rehab, while Nicks was wanting his deal. $nee literally pulls a me first move, and Nicks is the bad guy for not preparing hard enough for Dallas? Get the fvk outta here. This locker room situation is rotten.

    (Footnote: how ridiculous is the quote about McAdoo running the ship but Coughlin saying his hands will be all over the offense. Funny, his hamds have always been all over the offense. That recently led to the offense taking a dump and the OC getting fired. And Coughlin being rewarded with millions and security. Patently absurd.)

    •  Krow says:

      He’ll get kicked upstairs … become the President of Football Stuff … and draw a very nice salary. Coach’s money doesn’t hit the cap so for all I care they can pay him forever.

      •  Dirt says:

        If he were to play the year out, watch his son in law go, and significantly turn the team around, by all means, extend him.

        But not after the last two years.


        Talented people leave organizations when they feel leadership is taking a turn for the worst. I don’t see many free agents returning if the Giants offer similar money as another team. Not with this mess up top.

        Who am I kidding? The Giants won’t be offering anyone comparable money. Not with $nee penned in as a 2014 starter.

    •  Dirt says:

      @Giants_101: Tom Coughlin also says the Giants are “very interested” in the development of QB Ryan Nassib. Expect to see a lot of him in preseason. #nyg


      Very interested, eh?

      Like when you were eliminated from playoff contention and failed to dress him once, including the finale where, behind the backups to the worst line in football you made your franchise QB take more than a few token snaps and watch him get hurt?

      Let’s resign this guy!!

  8.  nick86 says:

    Such a disappointing player. I thought we had a stud WR for the next 5-6 years. Now a the position is a big question mark…

  9.  stuh says:

    Dirt: I agree with you 100%. Coughlin has outlasted his value. Because he never took Eli out of a game that they either had no chance of winning or losing, they don’t have a prospect who can take over and run the team if Eli the great gets injured.
    Playing rookies unless he is forced to is not his way. He is living on those 2 Super Bowls.
    As for Nicks good riddance. He was nothing last year and anyone who thinks he is better than Cruz is nuts. The last 2 years Nicks has been a waste. Cruz even though he has been double teamed a lot has put up big numbers. Nicks hasn’t. He has either been injured or just ineffective.

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