— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 22, 2019
Former Giant Hakeem Nicks Attempting Comeback
The New York Giants selected Nicks with the 29th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Nicks had his best collegiate season in 2008, setting two school records at North Carolina. In his college career, Nicks recorded a school record 1,222 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in his junior year. Beyond that, Nicks caught 68 passes that season and also ran the ball five times for 34 yards and one touchdown.
During his time with the Giants, Nicks quickly made a name for himself. Nicks got off to a slow start as a rookie in 2009, though, only catching 47 passes on 74 targets. Nicks did manage to churn out 790 yards and six touchdowns on those 47 receptions, however. Nicks broke out as a sophomore in the NFL in 2010, hauling in 79 passes on 128 targets for 1,052 yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns. Looking to build off of that in 2011, Nicks was targeted a career-high 133 times in 2011, catching 76 of those passes for a career-high 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns.
Injuries Pumped The Brakes on a Promising Career
Following two stellar campaigns in 2010 and 2011, injuries began to pile up for Nicks in 2012. Nicks started only 11 games for the Giants in 2012 but made the most of his opportunities. The veteran wideout saw 100 passes come his way that year, but only caught 53 of them for 692 yards and three touchdowns. Nicks attempted to rebound after a down year in 2012, but the 2013 season was only a tad bit better than 2012. Quarterback Eli Manning targeted Nicks 101 times in 2013, but Nicks only caught 56 of them. Nicks recorded 896 yards on those 56 receptions but failed to score a touchdown for the first time.
The Giants moved on from Nicks following the 2013 season. The Indianapolis Colts signed Nicks to a one-year contract in March of 2014, hoping to revive his career. Unfortunately for Nicks, he could not revive his career in Indianapolis, as he started just six games for the Colts. Moreover, Nicks only saw 68 passes come his way, catching 38 of them. Nicks’ yardage total was also way down in 2014, as he only managed 405 yards. One bright spot from that year, however, was that he found the end zone four times. The Colts opted to let Nicks test the free agent market again in 2015, where he reunited with the Giants.
Prioritizing His Health; Worth The Wait?
Hoping to get back to his prime days with New York, Nicks had no such luck. The veteran appeared in six games in 2015, starting only two. Nicks caught seven passes on 14 targets just 54 yards and did not score a touchdown in 2015. The 2015 season would be the last season in which Nicks played in an NFL game. In fact, Nicks signed with the Tennessee Titans in April of 2015 but did not survive the final roster cuts.
The Giants reunited with the Giants in November of 2015, where he struggled to see the field and produce. Nicks would have to wait until late July of 2016 to find a new home, which was with the New Orleans Saints. Nicks did not have said new home for long, though, as he was cut in early August of that year, just days after signing with the Saints. Following his release from the Saints prior to the 2016 season, Nicks has been out of football focusing on his health. Now three years removed from the game, Nicks feels as if he is finally ready to put the pads back on. Who will be willing to kick the tires on Nicks, a 31-year-old veteran who nearly had his career cut short?
View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: Former New York Giants Receiver Hakeem Nicks Attempting NFL Comeback