Hakeem Nicks Must Be Traded for New York Giants to Rebuild

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIOctober 13, 2013

Oct 6, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) celebrates a pass reception during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are 0-6 to start the 2013 NFL season, which means that it might be time for this team to start thinking about rebuilding for the future. And if they want to seriously start rebuilding and improving this team for the long haul, then they're going to have to trade away wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.

Rumors about Nicks potentially being traded have been around for most of this season. According to Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports, several teams are preparing offers for him, including the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons.

By trading away Nicks, the Giants would be making the right decision for their team's future.

The first thing to consider when looking at Nicks is his value to the G-Men. This season, he's caught 25 passes for 442 yards. Unfortunately, he also has zero touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he has a grade of 1.1, which is the third-best among wide receivers for the Giants, with Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle ahead of him.

In other words, the Giants are set at wide receiver at the moment, and they need help in other areas. Randle is emerging as a legitimate weapon in the offense, and that would make Nicks more expendable.

From a financial standpoint, the trade makes sense as well. Nicks is in the last year of his five-year, $12.54 million contract, per Spotrac, and will be a free agent at the end of the season. If he stays with the team through the year, he will likely be asking for a pretty big contract, and the Giants will likely have to let him go anyway.

The upcoming free-agent class after this season features few big names, and Nicks would probably be the top receiver. At just 25 years old and with that kind of label on him, teams will be willing to pay top dollar for his services.

Instead, the Giants could trade away Nicks to a team that really needs a premier option at receiver, such as Atlanta or San Francisco, and get something out of it.  

The official report by Jason La Canfora mentions that the Giants could get at least a third-round pick by trading away Nicks. That may not sound like a great trade, but the Giants don't have a dire need him for this season and they risk losing him for nothing in the offseason anyway. 

There's essentially no chance the Giants make the playoffs, and they could get a future draft pick out of a player that likely won't be on the team in 2014.

The Giants need to accept the fact that this season is a complete loss already and begin to look at the future. Trading Nicks wouldn't solve all of their problems, but it would be a good first step toward getting this team moving in the right direction.