NEW YORK GIANTS 2013 OTA DAY 1 RECAP: WIDE RECEIVER ISSUES?
Added by Vin D'Anton on May 23, 2013.
Mandatory Credit: Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports
The first full organized team activities took place yesterday in East Rutherford, NJ. We all knew that wide receiver Victor Cruz wouldn’t show up, but then another one didn’t show, and no one knew why. The first question for head coach Tom Coughlin after practice was “What is Hakeem Nicks’ status?” Coughlin’s reply, as you can imagine, was not a cheerful one; “I don’t know,” he said. “He should be here.”
Coughlin made it clear that it wasn’t due to injuries, which is what we all would assume due to the fact that Nicks never stays healthy.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! wrote this morning that he thinks it’s because Nicks wants a new contract. Cole reported that Nicks’ agent Peter Schaffer strongly denied that the wide receiver missed the practice because of contractual reasons. Schaffer said only he and Nicks were fully aware of the reason for the player’s absence and was unwilling to further discuss.
Cole than corrected himself and owned up to his mistake late this morning; on Tuesday night, Nicks was honored as a “Hometown Hero” by United Way along with Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson.
If all is clear, Nicks should return to practice healthy and ready to go, and we shouldn’t have to worry about two unhappy wide receivers…yet.
At this point, Cruz has become a nuisance and is getting greedy and Nicks knows he needs to remain healthy all year and have a great season to get a big contract. He is due to make $2.7 million in 2013, the last year of his rookie deal he signed in 2009.
Nicks has never played a full 16 game season. In 2011, he played in 15 and Eli Manning had his best season and the Giants won the Super Bowl.
Manning was just business as usual yesterday. “Right now I’m just worrying about myself going out there executing,; the guys who are here, trying to make everybody better, up to speed on what we’re trying to do and get the young guys involved and get them caught up to speed on everything going on and try to get better,” said the two-time Super Bowl MVP.
While not having Cruz and Nicks at practice is a negative, the always positive Eli turned it into a plus by having a good session with some of the newer guys and vets looking to step up.
“I hit Louis (Murphy) on a deep one,” said Eli. “I got Rueben (Randle) in there. I got (Jerrel) Jernigan some catches. We’re getting everybody in there, getting them a lot of reps, getting on time with them. We’re always going to get better. Whoever is on the field, we’re going to expect them to go out there and play at a high level. So I think the more guys you have who are experienced and ready to play different positions, the better off we’re going to be.” A classic Manning quote leaving any Giants fan comfortable in a time where crisis seems to be coming.