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Nicks Not Handling Pressure

In 2009, the Giants drafted Hakeem Nicks out of North Carolina with their first pick in the draft. The talented wideout began to show flashes in 2010 and 2011 of a future No.1 franchise receiver.

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Most recently and specifically this year, Nicks has not just been lacking in production but he’s been downright disappointing.

With only 5 games remaining, Nicks has not yet gotten in the endzone and has failed to be a reliable target for an already-struggling Eli Manning.

In the most important game of the year last week against the Cowboys, Nicks didn’t play because of an ‘abdomen injury’.

Investigative work by Dan Graziano of ESPNNewYork.com shows that Nicks told the staff he thought he had a hernia. Two days later after doctors convinced the wideout that nothing was wrong, Coughlin ruled Nicks unavailable to play.

PODCAST: Toomer Says Nicks Can’t Handle ‘Contract Pressure’

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While the veteran coach blamed it on a ‘no practice – no play’ policy, he’s easily overruled that line for players in the past who have wanted to play.

Did Nicks ask to play Sunday against Dallas?

“No,” said Coughlin on Monday.

In a contract year, Nicks has told the media that he’s now taking advice from his agent about his injuries. What is Nicks’ deal?

“Well, I think he’s hurt,” said former Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer, with Armen Williams on the Team last week. “His feelings are hurt with the fact that the Giants didn’t offer him a contract and they offered his competition on the team, Victor Cruz, a lucrative deal.

“Some people just can’t play with contract pressure on him. They can play with football pressure but ‘contract pressure’ is a different thing.”

Nicks in the past has physically dominated opposing corners and safeties, run over defenders in his way. But it’s the off-the-field reality that supposedly is affecting Nicks more than anything.

If Nicks can’t handle the pressure of a contract year, isn’t it safe to say he’s showing that he’s not as clutch as we all thought he was?

As disappointing as it is for Giants fans, it will be even more of a downer for Nicks and his family when it affects his future contract with whomever he signs with this off-season.

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