Originally posted on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 5/3/12

Hakeem Nicks leaps to catch a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half in a January 15, 2012 playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Frank Gray
BGB Editor

The NFL Network is currently running a series called "The Top 100 NFL Players of 2012". This is a ranking of the best players for the upcoming season. It is chosen by the players, for the players. Most vote tallies determine the order.

So far, only one New York Giants player has been named. That player is wide receiver Hakeem Nicks at # 90. This distinction can be interpreted two ways. Nicks could view this as a high honor. To be recognized by his own peers as one of the best players in the league is, indeed, an honor. He most likely will be humbled by the gesture.

It's easy to see why they placed him on this list, though. Last season, he posted 76 catches for 1,192 yards and scored seven times. He also had a 68 yard reception this past season to tie a career long mark. In his first three seasons, Nicks has posted 202 catches for 3,034 yards with 24 TDs. He has vastly improved with each new season. The ceiling of his talent has still yet to be reached. At just 24, he has several years left to build on that reputation among his peers.

As impressive as all of this is, these are also the same reasons he could respond to this gesture in a different way. He could take this in stride as a message from his peers. They recognize him, but at # 90, he still has a long way to go to be considered a premiere play maker in the league.

If he takes that approach, he could become even more dangerous. A motivated Hakeem Nicks with a chip like that on his shoulder would become a lethal Pro Bowl caliber player year in and year out. While it may be a nice gesture and show of respect from his peers, it would be more advantageous for himself, the Giants and their fans if he took this almost as a snub and developed a chip on his shoulder as a result.

Resting on the laurels of a Super Bowl ring and back to back 1,000 yard seasons would be a dangerous thing to do. Football players need motivation and this is the perfect opportunity for just that. He is well liked around the league. Not a harsh word has been uttered toward him or about him in his time in the NFL. He doesn't cause waves. That's a wonderful thing!

For a player like that, they have to find other ways to get and stayed motivated. No one will be offering bulletin board material for him, so this has to be the next best thing. If he looks at this from that perspective, he will become just as elite as a receiver as the man that is throwing it to him. That would help them both.

Therefore, he should take whatever award or certificate that is handed out with this honor and make a short speech to his peers. He should say something like this "thank you for telling me that 90 people are better than me, I guess I'll have to show you all that you're wrong".

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