The New York Giants wide receiver corps is among the most dangerous in the league, but on top of that they have been appealing to fans because they don't come off as diva's with big time personalities and me first attitudes. But diva or not players got to get paid. Jason Cole could have the insight to why Hakeem Nicks wasn't available for the first day of OTA's.
Pay day is coming soon for Nicks, too.
That was the unstated goal of Nicks' not attending the Giants' organized team activity practice, a source indicated Wednesday. Strictly speaking, Nicks didn't violate any rules. OTAs are, after all, voluntary. However, in the lexicon of NFL, voluntary is a synonym for mandatory.
Cole also writes:
The Giants are offering a deal closer to $7 million per year and that number is important in multiple ways. First, Cruz's contract will help set the parameters for Nicks, who the Giants consider to be their primary wide receiver – not Cruz, despite what the stats might indicate.
While Cruz is a dynamic player with the speed and quickness to play either in the slot or outside, 6-foot-1 Nicks is considered more of a class matchup problem for defenses. Thus, Nicks will likely command something much closer to the range of $10 million per year, if not more.
I think Cole's analysis here is spot on. Even though Cruz has been more productive and more healthy the last two seasons, the Giants best wide receiver and matchup problem for defenses is Nicks. The major questions that arise of course are: can the Giants pay both Nicks and Cruz? Both wide receivers will likely be looking for a figure in the range of $10 million per year while the Giants could point to the deal for Wes Welker as more towards fair market value for Victor Cruz, and highlight to NIcks' agent that Hakeem Nicks hasn't been able to stay on the field and sometimes the greatest ability is availability.
The other question is do the Giants think Cruz or Nicks or possibly both are replaceable? The Giants drafted Jerrel Jernigan with the hopes that he'd become the play-maker that Cruz has become. On the other hand Rueben Randle is a big-bodied athlete who can go up and catch the football -- more of a X receiver.
Many of us like to play armchair GM (myself included), but we never dream of doing so in a situation like the Giants might have on their hands right now.