Nicks Returns, But Reason For Absence Still Unclear

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

WR Hakeem Nicks is back at TPC today ready to rejoin his teammates for the Giants’ mandatory three-day minicamp. The first question fired his way at his media session was the most obvious: Why weren’t you here for OTAs?

“I’m not here to talk about that,” he said “I’m here to talk about me being here right now. That’s what I’m doing. I’m here and I’m happy to be around my teammates.”

NicksWhen asked about how much he might do in this afternoon’s drills, the star wideout claimed he was healthy and ready to go but the team may have other ideas.

“I’m going to go out there and run around a little bit,” he said. “We’re going to talk about it. We haven’t discussed it yet. I’m going to talk to Coach Coughlin and then we can talk to the trainers.”

Nicks said in lieu of attending OTAs, he was working out by himself near his home in North Carolina.

When asked why he didn’t contact the team to advise them he would be skipping OTAs, Nicks knew he had made a mistake once he heard of Coughlin’s reaction.

“I could have done a better job reaching out,” Nicks said. “We got to talk and got things straight. Coach Coughlin, that’s my guy, so that relationship can’t go sour.”

Nicks said today was the first time he spoke with Coughlin, but he has spoke with GM Jerry Reese.

“He knew the situation,” Nicks said. That’s good, because no one else does. Nicks avoided the angle that his absence was contract-related.

“I told you back in the spring, I don’t talk about my contract in the media,” he said.

The main thing is that he is back and the Giants have one-half of their vaunted 1-2 punch at WR. Victor Cruz will not be here ┬áthis week as he is not under contract. Nicks has spoken to Cruz, and relayed the sentiment that Cruz understands it’s a business and “wants to be here.”

“It feels real good to be back,” Nicks said. “Back around my teammates, in the locker room and for the minicamp. I’m excited about it. Working with Eli, that’s always a pleasure.”

Nicks said Eli tried to give him a hard time when he saw him today but was ultimately pleased to see him:

“But that can’t go but too long. He’s excited for me to be back, make sure everything is good with me and we’re ready to care of business.”

Nicks went on to say he didn’t intend to create a distraction with his recent absence.

“I never want to be detrimental in no kind of way towards the organization because they’ve been nothing but good to me…I took care of what I needed to take care of. I’m here now, that’s all that matters.”