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Giants to Sign Hakeem Nicks to Replace Cruz

The Giants are reuniting with an old friend.

Multiple sources reported on Tuesday that the Giants have agreed to sign free agent WR Hakeem Nicks. Nicks will take the roster spot of Victor Cruz, who will head to injured reserve after suffering a torn calf.

Nicks, of course, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 2009. Nicks spent five seasons with the Giants, and won a Super Bowl with the team during the 2011 season.

Nicks joined the Giants with high expectations after a strong career at North Carolina, and the Giants desperately needed a receiver after losing Plaxico Burress.

While he may have been overshadowed by Steve Smith’s Pro Bowl season, Nicks was still highly productive as a rookie, catching 47 passes for 790 yards and six touchdowns.

The following year, Nicks topped 1,000 yards while also reaching the end zone 11 times.

In 2011, Nicks formed a lethal receiving duo with breakout star Victor Cruz, as the Giants would win the Super Bowl and Nicks would total a career-high 1,192 yards.

Former Giants WR Hakeem Nicks has re-joined the team, and will replace injured WR Victor Cruz (Photo: New York Daily News).

Former Giants WR Hakeem Nicks has re-joined the team, and will replace injured WR Victor Cruz (Photo: New York Daily News).

Unfortunately, Nicks was unable to build off that success during his final two years with the Giants. He managed just 109 catches for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns between 2012 and 2013. All three touchdowns came in 2012 – Nicks didn’t reach the end zone once in 15 games in 2013.

The Giants opted to let Nicks walk as a free agent prior to the 2014 season, and made up for his loss by drafting Odell Beckham in the first round of the following draft.

Nicks went on to sign with the Colts, but was a huge disappointment. Despite having Andrew Luck as his quarterback in a pass-happy offense, Nicks managed just 38 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns.

Nicks struggled to latch on with a team last offseason before finally landing with the Titans. However, Nicks was let go at final cuts, and was not signed by a team until the Giants reunited with him on Tuesday.

Throughout the season, Nicks has had workouts with the Saints and Cowboys before working out for Big Blue in late September. He would later work out for the Cowboys and Ravens, and worked out for the Rams last week before St. Louis opted to sign Wes Welker.

Despite spending five years with the Giants, Nicks will have to learn a new playbook, as he has not played under second-year OC Ben McAdoo. He will have the Giants’ Week 11 bye to learn the playbook and get re-acclimated with his former team.

With Beckham, Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris seemingly locked in as the Giants’ top three receivers, Nicks is a good bet to take fourth receiver duties from Myles White.

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