There are several million reasons that New York Giants fans ought to be worried about Hakeem Nicks.
How many, exactly?
Well, that's the problem.
With training camp a mere three days away, every member of the Giants' 2009 draft class, from Clint Sintim all the way down to Stoney Woodson, has been signed to a deal.
Everybody except Nicks, that is.
According to Peter Schaffer, Nicks's agent, both sides are "working hard every day" to get a deal done, but he ended his comments to one beat reporter on an ominous note:
"We shall see."
Schaffer is one half of the well-respected All Pro Sports & Entertainment, Inc, a sports management company that's been home to players ranging from Eddie George and Barry Sanders and currently lists Braylon Edwards and Larry Johnson as clients.
Talent-wise, this is undoubtedly fine company for Nicks to be in. But those last two names, Edwards and Johnson, ought to make Giants fans nervous; both held out during their rookie years, even when players picked ahead of them had already signed contracts.
Of all the players drafted by the Giants this offseason, Nicks is easily one of the most important, and one of the players who most clearly needs to be on the field from day one.
Wide receivers typically have a very tough time adjusting to the NFL in their first year, and those who miss large chunks of time in training camp almost never see the field once the season starts.
And for all the tantalizing stats he put up in college, for all the talk about his tremendous hands and all his experience with the streak-read offense, none of it will matter if Nicks isn't up in Albany.
Especially not with a month-long battle royale scheduled to take place between Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Ramses Barden, Sinorice Moss, Domenik Hixon, and David Tyree for the starting wide receiver spots.
To be fair, these two sides are likely to negotiate well into the weekend to try and get something done.
But until they do, Giants' fans have between 10 (Clay Matthews' guaranteed money) and 6.1 million (Ziggy Hood's) reasons to be very concerned.
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