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Valentine's Views: Thinking about rankings, OTAs and contracts

Ed shares his opinions on some of the stories that made news around the New York Giants during the past week, as well as some items from around the sports world.

Eli Manning has earned two of these
Eli Manning has earned two of these
Ezra Shaw

Here are my thoughts on some of the stories that made news around the New York Giants during the past week.

Eli Manning and rankings

I have said this before, but I long ago ceased caring where anyone ranks Eli Manning among the league's quarterbacks or top players. So, my reaction to his being 43rd on the NFL Network list of the top 100 players of 2012, with probably eight quarterbacks ahead of him is "who cares?"

I look at NFL quarterbacks in tiers. Tier 1 includes Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. The current Mt. Rushmore of quarterbacks, if you will. Tier 2 includes Eli, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger and probably Matt Ryan and Tony Romo. Manning and Roethlisberger each have two rings and Flacco has one. That's what matters. I could care less how anyone ranks the players within those tiers.

Maybe during the upcoming week I will do a full breakdown of the way I see the quarterback tiers around the league.

Victor Cruz contract talks

The latest reports on the talks between Cruz and the Giants say that the two sides have hit a "stalemate." To be honest I find that 'news' report from ESPN's Ed Werder to be no news at all. Really, it seems more like the status quo -- exactly where things have been for a while now.

Various reports have indicated that the Giants have offered Cruz at least $7 million per year, perhaps closer to $8 million. So, this isn't about being the highest-paid slot receiver. The Giants are obviously willing to dwarf the $6 million made by Denver's Wes Welker, and the offer they have made Cruz would make him the second-highest paid Giants behind Eli Manning. That, thus far, has not been good enough for Cruz. We have, however, known that for weeks now.

There really hasn't been any reported movement by either side for a while. So, saying they are at a "stalemate" isn't news. That has been the case for the past several weeks.

Hakeem Nicks and the OTA mystery

What is the deal with wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and his refusal thus far to attend OTAs or even communicate with the team that he isn't intending to do so?

I fully understand if Nicks, who broke his foot during OTAs last year, suffered a knee injury during the season and eventually had offseason knee surgery, does not want to take the field during OTAs. They are voluntary, so he doesn't have to. Other players who are rehabbing from injuries, like David Baas, Chris Snee and Jacquian Williams, have not been working out.

I don't understand the failure to communicate with the team, to not show up without a word. As mentioned earlier the OTAs are 'voluntary,' but when nearly all of your able-bodied teammates are showing up -- and expecting you to be there -- the least you can do is communicate with the team.

This won't bite Nicks and could be much ado about nothing -- if he comes to training camp healthy and has a typical 70-80-catch Nicks season and earns the big contract we know he wants. If he shows up hobbled and has another injury-plagued, sub-par season, though, that's a different story.

Fanshots, & Fanposts

Remember that 'Fanposts' and 'Fanshots' are available for you to use if you have an opinion to express that doesn't fit into a comment. I know it's the offseason and it's a slow time, but those are there for you if you want to take advantage of them.

Non-Football Thoughts
  • Memo to Jason Kidd: For the love of God, and the memory of the great Hall of Fame player you used to be, please retire. You embarrassed yourself in the playoffs by going scoreless in 10 straight games for the New York Knicks. It's time to say goodbye.
  • The New York Yankees got way more out of Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells for six weeks than they ever could have expected. How can you think the success they were enjoying would last when Overbay was batting cleanup?
  • With John Tortorella out as New York Rangers coach post-game pressers will never be the same.
  • Three-and-one-half weeks post-surgery and I'm doing well. I still can't play golf, though, and that is bumming me out.