Nicks, Giants not on same page regarding his OTA absences


As Giants receiver Victor Cruz disagrees with himself as to whether he’ll have a reality show, the Giants and receiver Hakeem Nicks disagree with each other as to whether the team knew Nicks would be exercising his right to not attend “voluntary” offseason practices.

Per a source with knowledge of Nicks’ situation, the first-round pick who’s entering the final year of his rookie deal told the team he wouldn’t be present for optional offseason workouts.  Coach Tom Coughlin, however, claims he wasn’t informed that Nicks would be choosing not to participate.

And while sources close to Nicks continue to insist the absence has nothing to do with his current contract, there’s a chance (in our view) that Nicks wants to protect himself against the kind of injury that could undermine or obliterate his ability to cash in come 2014.

If 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree had chosen not to participate in “voluntary” OTAs, his Achilles tendon wouldn’t have required surgical reattachment.  While Nicks necessarily will be exposed to harm during training camp, the preseason, the regular season, and (possibly) the postseason, Nicks has no reason to tempt fate any more than required, especially if the Giants aren’t going to give him long-term financial security without completing his rookie deal.

Besides, these practice are voluntary.  The fans and the media seem to think the label is meaningless, possibly because coaches like Coughlin are able to make statements indicating they aren’t voluntary, without correction or consequence from the NFL or NFLPA.

So instead of all the hand wringing about why Nicks isn’t there, maybe the league and the union should remind Coughlin that Nicks doesn’t have to be there, and that any word or deed suggesting he does constitutes a violation of the CBA.

35 responses to “Nicks, Giants not on same page regarding his OTA absences

  1. Love it! Step aside Va-Giants and let the Cowboys run with the East. No cap room, WR’s acting like babies. Hope those DE’s stay healthy, cause that’s the strength of the team now.

    Hit us with $5 million in crap penalties. No prob. We’re out of it now and you are going into cap problems big time!

  2. Um, even with the rookie wage scale 1st round picks get paid enough to have “long term financial security” if they handle their money properly.

    These guys who act like several million dollars isn’t enough to get by on make me sick. And the press who act like they aren’t getting paid enough are just as bad

  3. Agreed. And in light of what happened to him last year, I really don’t understand Coughlin’s stance. Nicks is a proven receiver. Yes he needs reps but, considering Cruzes contract situation, Nicks needs to be healthy.

  4. I have no problem with Nicks missing these OTAs. Eli and Nicks will figure the timing out, etc. at camp. Avoid an injury in May, be ready come August.

  5. Very good point, Mike. But I think us NYG fans are very okay with him preserving his health, but not really okay with the lack of communication. Especially for a guy who claimed recently he was acting as a leader in the locker room.

    All Giants fans want a healthy Nicks, but it seems weird he won’t say something publicly. It’s certainly never been easier to communicate (text,tweet,call,email,smoke signal), so it leaves one to wonder why he’s going out of his way to do the opposite?

  6. I can’t really blame him. I guarantee that if he tears his acl during OTAs, the Giants wouldn’t offer him the same contract after the season… You only get one or two big shots at free agency, I don’t blame him for protecting his.

  7. Put a dress on him. This is, after all, FOOTBALL we’re talking about. Yes injuries happen and it’s always unfortunate, but the best teams think of themselves as teams first, not as a group of individuals. Nicks hasn’t paid enough dues to think the way he is. As more WRs expose themselves as dvias, it’s a sad commentary about the state of the game at that position.

  8. This goes back to the media continually asking about why players aren’t at the voluntary OTAs. It’s at that point every coach should just say, “we can only focus on the guys who are here”. Instead the story keeps getting regurgitated and regurgitated.

  9. Coughlin doesn’t have to like Nicks not being there, and is allowed to voice that discontent.

    Coughlin is not allowed to punish Nicks for not being there – as that is against league rules.

    Since it doesn’t look like Nicks is going to be punished – no rules violation.

    Honestly, what coach wouldn’t want 100% attendance at all OTA’s and other work outs?

  10. Relax coach. Key word here is “Voluntary”. I feel bad for his wife if she overcooks his eggs!

  11. And don’t forget that Nicks got injuried last year in similar offseason team work and wasn’t the same the whole year.

  12. couldn’t agree with the last two paragraphs more. in an ideal world it would be great if everyone showed up to voluntary OTAs, and certain players trying to earn a roster spot have more of an obligation to be there and make a good impression, but for a coach to publicly criticize a player for not being there is crossing the line.

  13. harrisonhits2, no one is saying they aren’t getting paid enough. but when they are helping drive a billion dollar industry, they have every right to maximize their value. why should one player take a stand against overcompensation when everyone else in the league will continue to get paid huge money by a league that makes huge money?

  14. It is getting to a point for me to care less about the individual lives of players. I watch football for the entertainment and know there will be another person slipped into the roster when one player gets old or injured. There are way to many issues to worry about other than the daily lives of spoiled over paid athletes.

  15. I have absolutely no problem with Nicks not being there for OTAs. The guy has ENOUGH of an injury history. He really doesn’t need to take anymore chances.

    This makes more sense the resting guys once you’ve already locked up a playoff spot, and coaches pull that ALL the time.

  16. Cowboy fan here loving it. DEZ, Terrance, Gavin, Hanna, Harris, Beasley, Coale, too many in OTA’S , take a couple to fill in, until Cruz and Hicks get back.

  17. Why doesn’t Hicks take out a big Insurance policy to cover any injury if that’s what he’s concerned about? He wouldn’t be the first player to do that IIRC, and he could ask for the cost of the policy to be covered in his new contract.

  18. People make it seem like the off season programs are so risky. I don’t get how OTAs and Training Camp are so much more “dangerous” than actual games. Aren’t these players supposed to get themselves into shape for the season?

    And, btw, can Cowboys and Redskins fans behave any stranger around the Giants? Those two SB’s have flipped out the other NFC East contenders.

  19. Even if the OTAs are voluntary, a courtesy call to the coach informing him of his choice not to attend followed up by an email to put it in writing is the way to handle this like a professional.

    And just stop it with the injury excuse. Guys can and have been injured working out on their own as well as at OTAs/ training camp.

  20. I hate sticking up for the NYG, but first of all during Coughlin’s comments about Nicks, he did also say the program was voluntary and never acted like Nicks HAD to be there. It sounded to me like what he was upset about is that Nicks said he’d be there then never let Coughlin know he wouldn’t be there. Coaches are control freaks and plan things to a T and how hard would it be just to let him know?

  21. I think Nicks is doing the smart thing by avoiding the OTA’s after all he was injured during OTA’s last spring. He will be a FA at the end of this season and wants to have a successful, injury free season to maximize his value. Would anyone be happy if he was injured sky diving, a voluntary and unnecessary activity.

  22. pdidit09 says:
    Jun 4, 2013 10:57 AM
    Cowboy fan here loving it. DEZ, Terrance, Gavin, Hanna, Harris, Beasley, Coale, too many in OTA’S , take a couple to fill in, until Cruz and Hicks get back.
    Of course you’re loving in. OTAs are the only time of year you have legit hope.

  23. tcostant says: Jun 4, 2013 10:44 AM

    And don’t forget that Nicks got injuried last year in similar offseason team work and wasn’t the same the whole year.
    Never confuse the issue by bringing up the facts.

    Personally, I’m trying to figure out a way that Mara can have The Great Roger Goodell Live And In Person fine the Redskins for this.

  24. We all understand they are voluntary. But if every player voluntarily decided not to attend OTAs then there would be no point in having them in the first place. Personally, I think they should go back to 2-a-days with pads. But I’m old school. This what was negotiated so everyone has to live with it. But if Eli can attend, then everyone should attend…even IF they are voluntary

  25. With the amount of practices Nicks misses during the course of a regular season, how is it at all surprising or alarming he’s missing off-season ones as well?

    Par for the course.

  26. OTAs are optional so what’s the problem?

    I know there is that thinking from the teams and the coaching staff “we know it’s optional but set the good example [enter star player’s name] and be with us” but guess what?

    He doesn’t have to be there and the article is spot on. Sure, by being there will not hurt him in terms of team cohesion and fitness but a potential injury can ruin everything for him. Especially on a contract year.

  27. I think it is great if everyone shows up…but I also have no problem with anybody exercising their option to work out somewhere else.

    Also, keep in mind that Nicks broke his foot during OTAs last year…which lead to a sub-par and injury-plagued year. This year – a contract year. Just sayin…

  28. That’s why I kept saying from the time this non-story arose, it is much ado about nothing. Nicks has a chance to get close to what Larry, Calvin and Wallace (which one of these does not belong?) are earning. He broke his foot in OTAs last year. Why would he risk injury of any sort, outside of a regular season game and what light work they’ll have him doing in training camp?

  29. The situation could have been handled better on both sides, but I think overall Nicks missing OTAs will prove to be inconsequential in the long run.

    If nothing else it gave Randle, Murphy, Jernigan, Barden & Collins more snaps to work w/ Eli, and provided the coaching staff a better look at what (if any) roll those guys could fill for the Giants….

  30. Can’t wait for the NYG to try & resign both of their average receivers. Talk about a team on the decline…it all happened so fast.

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