Report: Giants make Hakeem Nicks — not Victor Cruz — top priority

The Giants and Victor Cruz have currently hit a standstill as both sides attempt to negotiate a long-term contract, but news today suggests the salsa-dancing wide receiver is not No. 1 on the organization’s list of off-season priorities.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Giants are placing a greater importance on signing wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to a long-term deal.

Nicks, 25, is set to become a free agent after the 2013 season when his five-year, $12.54 million deal expires.

In 2012, Nicks battled a plethora of nagging injuries to his foot and knee. His production — 692 yards and 3 TD — marked career lows, as it was the first time the former first-rounder failed to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. He played in just 13 games, which also tied a career low.

The report is a bit of a head-turner, considering news leading up to the Super Bowl centered around the progress — or lack thereof — of Cruz’s new deal. On Friday, Giants co-owner John Mara told reporters Cruz’s agent was demanding too much and the organization wouldn’t break the bank for the wideout.

Yesterday, I wrote about Cruz unwilling to rule out a possible holdout over tabled contract talks.

This season, Cruz recorded his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. It seemed as if locking up Cruz, who earned $540,000 last year, was the team’s top priority.

If no deal is reached by March 12, Cruz will become an unrestricted free agent and the Giants can slap a $2.879 million first-round tender on him.

Cruz is not the only player the Giants need to try and work out a future with.

Tackle William Beatty, tight end Martellus Bennett, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, running back Andre Brown, safety Stevie Brown, wideout Domenik Hixon, tackle Sean Locklear, safety Kenny Phillips, linebacker Keith Rivers and defensive end Osi Umenyiora are all free agents this off-season.

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