New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was present and accounted for in all mandatory practices this offseason, but that didn't save him from taking heat for missing voluntary workouts in the ultra-competitive milieu of 21st century NFL.
Nicks confirmed to NFL Network's "NFL AM" Wednesday that his absence for the majority of the offseason "wasn't contract-related."
In an interview with the New York Post's Bart Hubbuch, Nicks clarified that injury concerns were the primary reasons for skipping practices. The wide receiver broke his foot during last year's organized team activities and is working his way back from arthroscopic knee surgery in February.
"At the end of the day, there's stuff that's mandatory and there's things that are not mandatory," Nicks told the Post. "Football is a physical sport, and it's a long season, too. Anytime you can let your body rest, I feel like that's always a blessing."
It's hard to find fault with that logic coming from a player who has been banged up as much as Nicks. The offseason is his time to get his body prepared for training camp.
Although Nicks insists he and head coach Tom Coughlin have a "great relationship," he's not ready to commit to staying with the Giants beyond his 2013 contract year. That lines up with a report by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport that Nicks is content to play out the season without a contract with an eye on testing the market in 2014.
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