After playing a nothing short of dreadful season, New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is on the market as a free agent, and it doesn’t look like Coughlin’s team will be welcoming him back into their ranks in 2014.
At first glance, getting rid of Nicks seems like a viable move for the Giants. He hasn’t proved to be an asset to the team at all this season. In fact, Nicks’ scoring record has been slowly declining on a yearly basis for several seasons thus far. In 2010, Nicks scored eleven touchdowns playing for New York. In 2011, he scored seven and in 2012 he only managed three, but 2013 takes the cake with a total of zero touchdowns in the 15 games he started.
Aside from his issues on the field, Nicks has displayed troublesome behavior this season, missing treatment sessions, consistently being late for practice and meetings and being fined multiple times. Nicks is also reportedly on the outs with Giants quarterback Eli Manning, displaying some passive aggressive behavior toward his fellow teammate on and off the field.
All of these things suggest that seeing the back of Nicks in 2014 can only mean good things for the Giants next season. However, this may not necessarily be true. For one thing, blaming Nicks for lack of scoring isn’t entirely fair. Look at how Manning has played this season. He hasn’t exactly been Mr. Perfect Passer, has he? He himself hasn’t been playing too well, either.
Manning only managed to toss 18 touchdowns to last season’s 26. In fact, this was the first season in the last nine that he passed for fewer than 20 TDs. He also threw 27 interceptions, an all-time high for the former Super Bowl MVP.
Nicks is also taking heat because he is being outshined by wide receiver Victor Cruz, which is incredibly unfair. Yes, unlike Nicks, Cruz managed to score this season, but it was only four touchdowns. His performance was hardly outstanding, statistically speaking. Like Nicks, Cruz’s scoring has dramatically decreased since last season.
In all fairness, Nicks has made a couple of terrific plays this season. In a game against the Washington Redskins, Nicks jumped and caught a beautiful 35-yard pass from Manning in the second quarter. He also caught a 43-yard pass in a game against the Chargers in week 14.
Obviously, the guy still has some moves.
Perhaps it’s Eli who needs to step up, or maybe Coughlin has been off his game, lately. Regardless of Nicks’ indiscretions, he is still a good player. The Giants really can’t afford to lose someone who has talent and has proved his worth in the past.
These are the same players who took it all the way in 2011, but somewhere along the line, every one of them started falling short. After a season of unfortunate events, the entire team could use a makeover in both defense and offense, but cutting a good player is definitely not the way to do it.