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Hakeem Nicks fine to play out Giants' rookie contract

While restricted free agent Victor Cruz's contract talks with the New York Giants have dominated the offseason news, Hakeem Nicks' camp has been eerily quiet entering the final year of his rookie deal.

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Nicks' silence has been by design. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" on Monday that Nicks is in no hurry to negotiate with Giants and essentially wants to approach the situation as the "anti-Cruz." More than willing to play out his contract, according to a person informed of his thinking, Nicks will allow the Giants to come to him with a proposal.

Two NFL general managers opined to Rapoport that the longer Nicks waits, the more nervous the Giants likely are to be about their No. 1 receiver testing the open market.

Should the Giants be concerned about losing Nicks, though?

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The Giants want to keep both wide receivers. They remain confident they can sign Cruz to a long-term deal this summer. Even if they place a higher value on Nicks because he draws more defensive attention, the Giants' smart play would be to ensure that he stays healthy in 2013 before committing to a deal that could be modeled on Mike Wallace's five-year, $60 million contract.

If Nicks turns in another disappointing season due to ongoing lower-leg injuries, the Giants shouldn't have any issue with the market setting his value. If Nicks returns to dominance, on the other hand, general manager Jerry Reese still has leverage in the form of the franchise tag. Logic dictates that Cruz's contract situation will be settled before Nicks' regardless of the latter's current stance.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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