HOW THE NEW YORK GIANTS WIDE RECEIVER ISSUE COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED
Added by Vin D'Anton on June 6, 2013.
Photo via ESPNNewYork.com
Usually when there is some kind of schism involving a New York football team, it’s the Jets. Since Christmas Eve 2011, Giants fans have sat back and laughed at the demise of Rex Ryan’s team.
The tables have turned a little though and now the Giants are finally having some issues with players; more importantly, it’s two players who are most vital to the success of their franchise quarterback.
The Giants have arguably the best pair of wide receivers in their franchise history with Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
First there is Cruz, the man New York fell in love with in 2011. The Giants had been looking for a breakaway receiver for a while; a guy who could get yards after the catch. Cruz set the Giants record for yards in a season with 1,536, which was third in the NFL.
In two seasons with the Giants, Cruz has 168rec, 2,628yds and 19TDs, ten of them coming in 2012. He also had that unforgettable performance in the 2011 NFC Championship game in which he caught ten passes for 142yds; he also scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVI.
Then there’s Hakeem Nicks, the 2009 first round pick who was taken to replace the numskull that was Plaxico Burress. Nicks in four seasons has 255rec, 3,726yds and 27TDs. In 2010 he had 11TDs and he had a monstrous 2011 postseason; 28rec, 444yds and four touchdowns.
Both of these receivers are free agents next year but one of them, if not both could have been signed already. After the Super Bowl XLVI victory, it was possible that one day the two of them would not be in blue.
This issue is happening now and neither guy has been at OTA’s. Cruz we know wants a ridiculous contract. The demands went up when he signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency and the Giants are more than distant with the Pro Bowler.
Hakeem Nicks, well we don’t know because his agent is being quiet. At first, Jason Cole of Yahoo! reported it was because of his contract, but then they said it was because of a charity event. He hasn’t showed up to one of the practices and no one in the organization knows why.
General Manager Jerry Reese now has a problem, one that could have been avoided a long time ago. Most feel that at least one of them will stay, but the NFL is a serious business with not a lot of loyalty, and both of these guys could be out the door.
This whole thing could have been avoided a long time ago if they just would have signed one of them. Nicks you could have gave a two-year extension to after either 2010 or 2011. He’s never played a full season and if anything, the most he can get is five to six million. To me that’s worth it because your quarterback is a guy who loves big receivers that he can throw it up too. Nicks can catch the ball in traffic and has big hands.
The Cruz issue is even worse because he is stubborn at this point. You honestly could have given the guy a four to five year deal worth $25 million or a little less after 2011. I understand you were worried about the one-year wonder so that I can’t get on Reese for.
What I will get on Reese for is the fact that he didn’t re-sign either of them by now, especially Nicks who is more important to Eli and is a prototypical number one receiver. Cruz should not get number one money because he is not a number one receiver.
Is it possible to keep both guys? Maybe. If Eli takes a pay cut, which he said he would, you have a chance. The way I see it is, you let Cruz walk after this season unless he has another 2011 type season. Cruz though needs Nicks because he’ll see the double coverage just because of his size.
Eli can make due with anybody, but he needs one of the two, and that guy is Nicks. Eli like I said needs the big target and if Cruz really wants to be a Giant, he would have signed for seven million by now. Between the high contract demands, Jay-Z’s agency and this new reality show nonsense, it seems like Cruz has kind of lost himself and doesn’t get it.
I hope I’m wrong because he seems like a great guy, but the smart decision at this point is to stick to the plan you have; play with him this season because the Giants know Cruz needs to comeback for his own sake if he wants any money next season.
As for Nicks, well I don’t know his motives but I expect a big year out of him due to the fact that this is the first time he is due for a big contract.
One of them better be signed before Week One.