NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the news Jan. 19 on Twitter, also conceding that an excess of fines could be a factor in the Giants not pursuing an extension for the 26-year-old wideout:
In his first three seasons as a pro, Nicks quickly became one of the NFL's top receivers, scoring at least six touchdowns in each of those years and averaging nearly 1,000 yards per season. But the good times would not last.
Injuries to his foot and knee hampered his 2012 campaign, in which he caught just three scores and amassed 692 yards in 13 games played.
But going into a contract year in 2013 and fresh off teammate Victor Cruz signing a $46 million deal, Nicks was still likely in line for a big payday from New York if he returned to his usual form.
Instead, he failed to catch a touchdown pass all season and averaged 60 yards per game.
Rapoport continued his reporting with a couple of follow-up tweets that painted a better picture of how Nicks irked the Giants brass:
Multiple sources tell me Hakeem Nicks was fined repeatedly for being late to meetings & missing treatment. He battled thru several injuries— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 19, 2014
Hakeem Nicks is not the only player to be late & miss treatment. He’s not a bad guy. But in a contract year, this frustrated #Giants.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 19, 2014
As Rapoport noted, missing meetings and treatments isn't the worst thing in the world, but it certainly didn't help Nicks' case.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News previously provided a statement from Giants general manager Jerry Reese discussing Nicks' overall future in the NFL:
Reese on Hakeem Nicks: "I still think he can be a good player. He has to stay healthy and focus more on what he’s doing.”— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) January 9, 2014
To those points, the Giants could be feeling more comfortable now regarding life without Nicks after wide receiver Rueben Randle's six-touchdown outburst in 2013.
Nicks has proven in his career to be a reliable No. 1 receiver and will draw plenty of interest in the free-agent market, even though production, injury problems and mindset will likely all be dissected further by interested parties.
But with many teams looking for a big name on the outside, don't expect Nicks to be available for too long if the Giants decide not to offer him an extension.