Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts receiver Hakeem Nicks (14) celebrates with receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) after a 15-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter during the NFL divisional playoff game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants signed Hakeem Nicks Tuesday, placing wide receiver Victor Cruz on Injured Reserve. My immediate reaction: he’ll be the star we were once awed by and will revive his career as a Giant, winning a Super Bowl and ending his career wearing Giant Blue.
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The reality: the Giants signed a 27-year-old receiver who’s dealt with a series of injuries in recent years that seem to have crippled his on-field production.
Pardon my grim outlook… but realistically, teams who sign players midseason, unless they’re thrust into some sort of key role like middle linebacker or starting running back, generally aren’t big contributors.
This team isn’t really in desperate need for a scorer—entering their bye they rank 4th in all of football in points per game (27.3). And Dwayne Harris is quite excitingly emerging as a legitimate playmaker—something I don’t believe the Giants expected when they signed him.
So, I’m not so sure they picked up Nicks so he could eat up a ton of snaps in an offense that’s been pretty good this season. In fact, I don’t think they signed him for that reason at all.
This signing indicates a few pretty interesting things though. Think about who Nicks is as a player: a big-bodied outside receiver with great hands that doesn’t really move around the offense much. He’s not a gadget-type player, he doesn’t play special teams, and, maybe most importantly, he doesn’t play the slot, the position Cruz was supposed to fill.
The way I look at this, I just don’t think Nicks came back to New York to take Cruz’s spot. I think he’s going to contribute to the Giants in three ways, one that to me is pretty stark. I list those here:
Next: Nicks Will Serve As A 4th Receiver