Hakeem Nicks' first contract year didn't go so well, but he might get a do-over.
According to ESPN, the Giants' free agent-to-be receiver would be willing to accept a one-year "prove it" contract when the offers start flying in the coming days. Nicks, who did not have a touchdown reception in 2013, also circulated letters to all 32 teams from foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson and knee specialist Dr. James Andrews -- both of whom operated on Nicks -- vouching for his physical well-being, according to the report.
Nicks insisted he was healthy in 2013, the final year of his rookie contract with the Giants. Whether he was or wasn't, his production certainly limped throughout the season. He caught 56 passes for 896 yards and, most notably, had no touchdown receptions. In 2012, the season he clearly was slowed by the foot and knee injuries, he caught 53 passes for 692 yards. After catching 24 touchdown passes in his first three regular seasons, Nicks caught only three in the last two.
Interestingly, the ESPN report also indicates that Nicks would be willing to return to the Giants. Whether that's true or just the kind of things people say these days -- even Osi Umenyiora kept that window open last year -- will be determined soon. Especially if there aren't other teams willing to make lucrative offers for Nicks. But the Giants seemed to grow weary of Nicks last year, particularly when he vanished during OTAs (voluntary though they were) and did not play in the November game against the Cowboys, the team's biggest game of the season.
As for the Giants' other big-name free agent-to-be, defensive end Justin Tuck reportedly received an offer from the Giants this past week but will hit the open market Tuesday.
Tuck has always left the door open for a return, saying he would like to retire as a Giant. But he soon will learn how other teams value him and will make up his mind about his future. Tuck is so hopeful of returning to the Giants, it is believed that he will give the team a chance to match any offers he receives.