Giants GM Jerry Reese says there is no preference between Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz
INDIANAPOLIS-- Jerry Reese remained tight-lipped Saturday, refusing to give any shred of insight into his immediate and future plans regarding contracts and roster cuts.
But the Giants' general manager made one thing clear: The team is showing no favoritism toward either of its two star wide receivers.
Reese denied a recent ESPN report that said the Giants have prioritized getting a contract extension worked out with Hakeem Nicks over securing a long-term deal for Victor Cruz, saying: "That's not correct. They're both good players and we like them both. I don't think we like one more than the other. I think they're both really good football players."
Reese, however, said "there's really nothing to report right now" with respect to the Giants' negotiations with Cruz, adding that he would not discuss the contract status of any player.
Reese also wasn't definitive when asked if the Giants can afford to keep both Nicks and Cruz long-term. "I don't know," he said. "We'll see."
There was, however, one thing the GM was forthcoming about: Justin Tuck's inconsistent play last season. The defensive end, who last was picked for the Pro Bowl in 2010, had 37 tackles, five sacks and one forced fumble in 12 games in 2011 and 45 tackles, four sacks and no forced fumbles in 15 games last season.
"Justin obviously hasn't played as well as we think he can play and the kind of player he has shown to be in the past," Reese said. "He knows that. Justin and I have recently had a really long conversation and talked about some of those things. He really wants to get back to the old Justin Tuck and be the player that we know him to be. Hopefully, he can get healthy and have a good offseason and get back to his old form."
Other nuggets from Reese Saturday:
The Giants haven't officially closed the door on Osi Umenyiora. "We keep all of our options open," Reese said. When asked about former Colts pass- rusher Dwight Freeney, who recently expressed interest in playing for either the Giants or Jets, Reese said: "We investigate everything."
With Ahmad Bradshaw gone, Reese maintained there will be a competition between running backs David Wilson, Andre Brown and Da'Rel Scott and that the Giants will continue to look for a fourth and fifth guy.
Reese wouldn't say whether the Giants have reached out to David Diehl or Corey Webster about reworking their deals.
Although owner John Mara said the Giants are unlikely to use their franchise tag this season, Reese said he prefers to keep his options open "with respect to that."
Defensive back Terrell Thomas was on a "pitch count'' in training camp, according to Reese. "It's kind of freakish what happened to him," Reese said of Thomas' third ACL injury. "Hopefully, this time, we'll take more precautions. He knows his body better than anybody. Hopefully, this time, he'll be able to stay healthy and be able to contribute."