Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks opted to treat the team’s voluntary OTAs as voluntary. Even though, as a practical matter, they aren’t.
As a result, he’d been called out by coach Tom Coughlin, quarterback Eli Manning (sort of) and, in turn, by fans and media members who think Nicks should have been there.
But Nicks still hasn’t supplied a clear explanation for his decision to stay away from the involuntary voluntary sessions. Via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Nicks again denied that the absence was related to his contract during an appearance on NFL Network.
It’s a tomato-tomahto proposition. While Nicks didn’t stay away in an effort to force the Giants to give him a new contract, he opted to reduce the number of times he’d be exposed to serious injury while he continues to bear the financial risks associated with tearing an ACL or popping an Achilles tendon in the final year of his rookie deal.
Nicks will likely never admit it, and he doesn’t have to. It’s obvious that Nicks chose protecting himself (and, in turn, his future earnings) over OTAs. It was the right decision.
And if the Giants wanted Nicks to be at OTAs, they should have worked out a long-term deal that would have shifted the injury risk from the player to the team.