Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks took the Giants by surprise when he failed to show up at the team’s organized team activity on Wednesday.
Coach Tom Coughlin expressed his opinion that Nicks “should” have been at the voluntary workout, although league rules say the exact opposite, and speculation arose that Nicks was firing a preliminary shot in negotiations for a new deal with his contract expiring after the 2013 season. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported as much after speaking to a team source, but that report is now being walked back after a response from Nicks’ agent.
Peter Schaffer has not offered any explanation for why Nicks did not attend the OTA with other Giants, but “strongly denied” that his contract had anything to do with his decision to stay away. In a series of text messages, Schaffer said the wideout “takes his place in the community very seriously and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that reputation.” The team source also got in touch to say that he was merely giving his best guess for Nicks’ absence.
“We’ve all talked about our contracts and the things we’ve been through, like what’s going on with [wide receiver Victor] Cruz,” the source said. “When you talk about money and what you think the team is doing right or wrong, sometimes feelings get really hard.”
Whether or not the contract is the issue right now, the Giants are likely to spend a fair amount of time trying to strike a deal with Nicks before the start of free agency next year. If Cruz winds up playing out this year on his restricted free agent tender, things will be even busier as the Giants try to figure out how to hold onto two receivers with just one franchise tag at their disposal.