Show me the stability!
Thats the twist on the famous free agency battle cry that Hakeem Nicks appears to be adopting as he inches towards the end of his rookie contract with the Giants and into an offseason of uncertainty. The wide receiver said on Friday for the first time this season that hed like to remain with the Giants and seemed to indicate that hed be willing to take less money to do so.
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We aint talking money right now because its bigger than that in my eyes, Nicks said, adding that hell be more focused on the stability of things. Its not just about money. Im not going to be a guy who says: Let me go get this. Nah I dont want to get myself in a situation where theres a lot going on. This organization is great stability-wise. Not too many changes go on around here and I like that theyre always in for the players best interest and things like that.
Nicks also said that he expects talks between him, his agent and the Giants to begin next week.
The seasons over with, he said. Lets take the next step and see where it goes from there.
Thats all well and good, but the Giants need to have the same desire. After this season in which Nicks disappeared from OTAs, wound up sitting out against the Cowboys in the biggest game of the season, and was sulking on the sideline when Eli Manning threw an interception against the Packers, its unclear if the Giants even want him back. The Giants even considered trade offers for Nicks when they started the season 0-6. They locked up Victor Cruz with a long-term deal last offseason and feel second-round draft pick Rueben Randle is poised to become a top receiver.
Cruz, for one, thinks Nicks will be back. Since 2011, Nicks and Cruz are second in the NFL among wide receiver tandems with 6,356 combined yards.
I dont know if that gut feeling is true, but I do have a gut feeling, Cruz said. Its more so just me being selfish. Thats what I want to see. I want to see him back here with us, I want to see him being his same old self, his same old calm, resolved self. Hopefully that can happen, but if not I wish him the absolute best and he knows that.
Nicks said he doesnt think he needs to tell the Giants next week that he wants to return.
They know that, he said. I wont have to say that. Its just a matter of how things are going to work out. Well know that soon.
Perhaps the discussions will center more around other peoples jobs, not just Nicks. Stressing the stability factor again, Nicks said he hopes the Giants bring everyone back in 2014.
I cant control nothing, but I love Coach Gilbride and his schemes, Coach Coughlin, the way he coaches, the defensive coaches, he said. I love the whole staff. I won a Super Bowl with this staff so its not like we cant do it. I believe we can do it.
Yes, Nicks is talking about the Giants in the future tense. He even spoke about getting together with Manning and other receivers in the offseason to work on the offense.
In the past its showed that when we link up early enough and start training that we definitely benefit from it, he said. Thats something that Ill be looking forward to doing.
Given all of that, its still uncertain if Nicks will return. Nicks knows that, and said it pulls at his heartstrings when he thinks of the possibility of playing elsewhere.
I cant sit here and say it wouldnt be tough if I had to, he said. But I understand the business. There wont be any negative blood or bad vibes on either side I cant really say too much right now, we still have a game left. I want to go out there and compete, I want to have fun, and I want to fly around.
And, apparently, land in the same place.