The New York Giants are going to end up letting wide receiver Hakeem Nicks hit free agency this offseason, and it will be interesting to see how they decide to replace him. They have enough talent at the position that they can avoid signing someone with as much talent- and as high of a price tag- as Nicks, but they will likely need to add another solid receiver into the fold. The key is getting someone consistent who can move the chains and work well with Eli Manning, especially since the QB and his WRs had a difficult time getting on the same page this season. Manning needs a possession receiver who can bail him out.
For as talented as Nicks is, he definitely wasn’t that guy in the final year of his contract. Nicks was a downright disappointment, and he barely escaped the trade deadline without being dealt. It’s unclear how much Nicks has been hurt by injuries, but it’s clear that Nicks wasn’t at his best this season, and there’s speculation that he didn’t try this year due to worries about getting injured in a contract year. I don’t know how much I buy that logic, but it is a reasonable proposition.
According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Daily News, Hakeem Nicks still thinks that he’s one of the elite receivers in the league, “I still consider myself one of the top receivers in this league and I’m going to go out and prove it.’’
That’s a good mind-set to have, and there’s little doubt that Nicks is one of the most talented WRs in the league. However, he was so inconsistent this season that he has lot to prove, and I doubt Nicks gets the kind of contract that he is looking for.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul hasn’t put up the sack totals that he did in his breakout 2011 season, and he was a wildly ineffective pass rusher this year with just two sacks. However, JPP has quietly dominated in run defense, and there’s hope that the uber-athletic DE can bounce-back in 2014- getting healthier will help.
Pierre-Paul missed missed the final five games with a shoulder injury, and he told the Post that he will know at the end of the month whether or not he needs shoulder surgery this offseason. He needed back surgery in the 2013 offseason, and he never fully recovered from the injury. Once he is able to recover from the back surgery and a potential shoulder surgery, then JPP should be able to get closer to his 2011 numbers as a pass rusher.