We have already talked a great deal about how difficult it will be for the Giants to give Hakeem Nicks a rich long-term deal after giving one to fellow wide receiver Victor Cruz. We've been through many of the reasons, but here is how Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News explains the situation:
Whatever angst anyone felt over the last eight months or so as the Giants and Cruz’s various people haggled over what turned into a six-year, $45.879 million deal, that’s nothing compared to what lies ahead as Nicks moves to the head of the line. He, not Cruz, is the Giants’ No. 1 receiver, but he has a long history of injuries that complicates his value. He’s going to want an enormous deal — think Mike Wallace and the five-year, $60 million deal he got from Miami — that could be too big of a risk for the salary cap-strapped Giants to take.
That’s a big reason why they couldn’t give Cruz No. 1 receiver money, and why they tried so hard for so long to keep the overall value of Cruz’s deal down.
"The Giants knew that whatever they paid Cruz they were going to have to pay more to Nicks," one prominent NFL agent said. "His agents were watching this whole thing closely and I’m sure they were drooling over the size of Cruz’s deal."
Here is just a little more from Vacchiano:
... by comparison, things were so simple with Cruz. He wanted the Giants, they wanted him and there was always an obvious middle ground for them to reach. But with Nicks, there are only opposite poles and a wide gap between them. Can the Giants gamble on an injury-prone player? Can they afford not to gamble on a player with big, soft hands and breakaway speed? Ask any member of the Giants organization what went wrong last season, and one of the top two reasons they’ll all give is that they never had a healthy Nicks.