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Hakeem Nicks’ girlfriend is Ariel Meredith

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New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is searching for a new contract, but he seems to have his personal life squared away. Nicks has been dating Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ariel Meredith for a little while now. The two attended the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Party together last month.

Meredith is one of the most popular swimsuit models in the game right now. As our friends at SI Hot Clicks pointed out, she is also the same model who brought us this incredible GIF last year.

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Hakeem Nicks signs with Roc Nation Sports

Hakeem-Nicks-GiantsRoc Nation Sports added another talented athlete to its growing list on Thursday, as the agency announced that it has signed New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Victor Cruz, Nicks’ teammate, was one of the first big names to sign with Jay-Z’s agency last year. Like Cruz, Nicks will be represented by both Roc Nation and CAA.

Not long after signing with Roc Nation, Cruz was able to land a five-year, $43 million contract extension with the Giants. That type of money would be a stretch for Nicks, who did not catch a touchdown during the 2013 season. He has only missed a handful of games in the past three years, but Nicks always seems to be battling some sort of nagging injury.

At age 26, Nicks will certainly be able to find a few teams who are willing to take a chance on his less-than-stellar resume. He hauled in 155 passes for more than 2,200 yards and 18 touchdowns between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and there is no denying that the former North Carolina star has as much raw talent as any receiver in the league.

In all likelihood, Nicks won’t be returning to the Giants. They already have a lot of money invested at the wide receiver position and reportedly had to fine him multiple times last season. A divorce seems inevitable, but Nicks should be well represented when he hits the open market.

H/T Darren Rovell

Hakeem Nicks was reportedly fined multiple times, is not expected to return to Giants

Hakeem-Nicks-GiantsHakeem Nicks will become a free agent this summer, and most people assume the New York Giants will not make a valiant effort to re-sign the 26-year-old wide receiver. The G-Men already signed Victor Cruz to a lucrative contract extension last offseason. Nicks has had a difficult time staying healthy and producing consistently. Plus, he was reportedly fined a bunch of times.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Giants fined Nicks multiple times over the course of the 2013 season for being late to meetings and missing treatments for his various injuries. As Rapoport noted, plenty of players are guilty of the same things throughout the season. However, the Giants were frustrated by the antics during a contract year.

As a result of the disciplinary action and Nicks’ uninspiring play, the Giants are not expected to bring him back next season.

Nicks should have no problem finding work on the open market. When healthy, he’s one of the more explosive receivers in the game. Plenty of teams will be willing to assume the injury risk for the potential of having a legitimate outside threat in their passing game.

Tom Coughlin: Hakeem Nicks has not been reliable

Hakeem-Nicks-GiantsNew York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks has the physical tools needed to be one of the most dominant wideouts in the NFL. He’s big, strong, has massive hands and is a good route runner. In past seasons, injuries have been an issue. This year, Nicks can’t stop dropping the ball.

The Giants got their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, but it was not pretty. Nicks dropped a number of passes and finished with just 28 yards on two catches, despite being targeted 10 times. He has been targeted 18 times in the past two games and has only six receptions to show for it. On Wednesday, Tom Coughlin acknowledged that Nicks has been inconsistent.

“You’ve got to get to the point where the reliability factor is there as strongly as it always has been,” Coughlin said, per Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News. “Has it been there up to this point? No. But we’re saying ‘Let’s get back to work and get this done.’ We count on this guy.”

Coughlin also added that he does not believe Nicks has been distracted by his impending free agency, noting that there is really no excuse for his three drops against the Vikings.

“The competitor that he is, he’s very much aware,” Coughlin said. “And quite frankly he’s always gobbled those balls up. So explanation? I wouldn’t offer an excuse. I’m sure he wouldn’t either.”

Has Nicks been a disappointment this season? Aside from a couple of big games, he has been virtually nonexistent. But there is no real way to pinpoint the most significant issue on a 1-6 team. Eli Manning has thrown 15 interceptions, which already matches his total from 2012. The G-Men rank 31st in the NFL in rushing. Their defense has allowed more than 30 points per game. Nicks can take a number at this point.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Hakeem Nicks: I can’t throw the ball to myself

Hakeem-Nicks-GiantsNo NFL team looked worse over the weekend than the New York Giants did against the Carolina Panthers. Tom Coughlin’s team desperately needed a win after starting the season off with back-to-back losses. Instead, the Giants turned the ball over three times in an embarrassing 38-0 loss. Hakeem Nicks did not see a single target.

After the game, Nicks was asked about his lack of involvement. Rather than chalking it up to a horrible day offensively where nothing went right, he took a veiled swipe at Eli Manning.

“It’s part of the game. You’ve got to control what you can control,” Nicks said, per Charles Chandler of The Star-Ledger. “I can’t throw it to myself. As I’m running routes, I can’t see what’s going on with the line. I’ve just got to look at the film to see that, so we’ll know tomorrow.”

When he looks at the film, Nicks will see that his quarterback was under attack the entire game. Manning was sacked seven times and barely had any time to get the ball out, so he couldn’t exactly make a second, third, or even first read in some instances. When asked if he was open, Nicks gave the following response.

“I feel like I’m always open,” he said.

Nicks caught nine passes for 197 yards in the Giants’ first two games. He was targeted 16 times, so Manning looked his way plenty. Sunday was just one of those days. As you might expect, Coughlin was not happy with what Nicks seemed to be inferring.

“I’ll talk to him,” he told The Star-Ledger’s Connor Orr. “That’s not a smart thing to say.”

Everyone is frustrated after a 38-0 loss. The amount of balls that went Nicks’ way are the least of New York’s concerns at the moment.

Tom Coughlin angry with Hakeem Nicks for missing OTAs

Hakeem Nicks Super BowlHakeem Nicks has yet to report to organized team activities with the New York Giants this offseason, and he has not provided an acceptable excuse for his absence. In fact, head coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks has not given an excuse at all and that he expected him to be there. While the workouts are technically voluntary, Coughlin is clearly angry his 25-year-old wideout has gone MIA.

“At one point, Hakeem told me that he was going to be here, and then he was not here,” Coughlin said Thursday, via the NY Daily News. “Now, the strictest interpretation, as everybody knows, is it’s a voluntary program.”

For most NFL teams, voluntary means not showing up would be reasonable if you have another obligation. It’s more than a safe bet to assume the no call, no show is unacceptable in most organizations around the league.

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Hakeem Nicks refuses to answer negative questions in interview

I don’t know if Hakeem Nicks had a nickname before, but he certainly has one now. After the interview he gave Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina, I’m calling him Harmony Hakeem.

The New York Giants receiver conducted a Q&A with Traina over email where he essentially refused to answer any negative questions. When he was asked some negative questions, he pretty much refused to go along.

Here were some of his decidedly positive responses:

SI.com: Celebrity whose popularity annoys you?
Nicks: Nobody — to each their own.

SI.com: Song you hate the most?
Nicks: I’m not a hater. So the song I like the most is “Guap” by Big Sean.

SI.com: Biggest Twitter pet peeve?
Nicks: None.

SI.com: Worst thing a fan has ever said to you?
Nicks: The best thing a fan has said to me is “that I inspire them to be better people.”

The whole thing is so bizarre you really just have to read it yourself. Harmony Hakeem has 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns this season for the Giants. He seems like the nicest guy alive.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE