Friday, December 27, 2013
Hakeem Nicks: 'It's not just about money'
By Matt Ehalt
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With one game against the Washington Redskins standing between him and free agency, New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said Friday that money isn't going to be the only factor in where he signs this offseason. The 25-year-old stressed stability as an important aspect of his choice.
"It's not just about money. I'm not the guy that's going to be like, 'Oh, let me go get this.' No," Nicks said. "I look at everything as a blessing and everything that's supposed to happen is going to happen. It's all going to unfold."
Hakeem Nicks could be playing his last game as a Giant on Sunday.
Nicks said he wants to be back with the Giants and believes the two sides will begin talking next week. He doesn't want to land in a situation where there is constant turnover and praised the Giants for their stability, saying there are never too many changes and the organization does what's right by its players.
This year could be different, though, after the Giants missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.
Nicks praised the coaching staff Friday, including both head coach Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. He acknowledged it wouldn't be easy to leave the Giants due to his fondness for the organization.
"I can't say it wouldn't be tough if I had to," Nicks said. "I understand the business. It won't be negative vibe or bad blood on either side."
Nicks did not say yes, or no, when asked whether he would give a discount to remain with the Giants, and said he hadn't thought about whether the Giants will use their franchise tag on him. If the Giants were to do so, Nicks said he would come back and play for them.
Nicks enters free agency off two straight down years. Last season he caught 53 balls for 692 yards and three touchdowns in an injury-plagued campaign. This year he has played in all but one game, but has just 54 catches for 846 yards and zero touchdowns.
Nicks said this year has not been frustrating for him, although the lack of red zone opportunities has been tough.
"It happens. I'm still early in my career. I'm five years in. You have to take the ups and the downs," Nicks said. "It will be something I look back on in my career and be like, 'I remember that.' I can say I went through that. I might be able to help a fellow teammate if they go through it."
Another Giant who could be playing his final game with the team is defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who also will be a free agent. Joseph said he hasn't put much thought into free agency, but would like to stay with the team that drafted him.
"I would love to stay here. We'll see what happens," Joseph said. "This is where I started. I love this organization and I love it here. It’s home."