Hakeem Nicks, left, and Victor Cruz jokingly practice celebrations during...

Hakeem Nicks, left, and Victor Cruz jokingly practice celebrations during training camp. (July 28, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks are on the same team when it comes to their off-the-field business, but the union comes just when the two wide receivers may be going in different directions as football players.

Cruz told Newsday he is "slowly but surely" coming to grips with the idea that Nicks will not return to the Giants when free agency begins next week.

"I'm not sure what the situation is, I haven't spoken to him in a while," Cruz said. "I'm remaining optimistic that he's going to stay, but he has to do what's best for himself and his family. We'll see what happens."

Nicks announced last week that he had changed his representation and now will have CAA and agent Tom Condon handle his contractual affairs while Jay Z's Roc Nation will take care of his marketing. That's the same model that Cruz uses, and Nicks called Cruz for advice before making the switch.

"I gave him my opinion on the situation and he made his own decision," Cruz said. "But I think it's a good move for him. It's a place where he'll be cared about and where the best will come for him."

It worked out well for Cruz, who last offseason signed a five-year, $43-million extension. He spoke Monday morning at the launch of the "It Starts With School Breakfast" program with Fuel Up to Play 60, Share Our Strength and Dean Foods at P.S. 75 in Manhattan.

Some potential free-agent wide receivers in the division already have signed. Last week, the Eagles signed Riley Cooper to a five-year, $25-million deal, and teammate Jeremy Maclin, coming off an ACL injury, signed a one-year contract worth up to $6 million.

Even though Nicks had a poor year in terms of production, not scoring a touchdown, he had more receptions and receiving yards (56, 896) than Cooper (47, 835, eight touchdowns).

Said Cruz: "He's definitely excited to have his shot at free agency and have his turn to have a big payday and be in that elite receiver category and do some good things."

Hynoski, Cordle won't be tendered. Fullback Henry Hynoski and center Jim Cordle, two of the Giants' restricted free agents, will not receive tenders from the team, according to sources. That will leave the two as unrestricted free agents next Tuesday. Either or both could wind up re-signing with the Giants, although it likely would be below the lowest possible tender salary of $1.323 million for 2014.

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