Nicks gets five-year deal

Updated: August 1, 2009, 8:43 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The New York Giants and their first-round pick, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, agreed Saturday morning on a five-year deal worth about $12.5 million, ensuring Nicks will be in camp when it starts Sunday.

Nicks was the 29th selection overall and is the 17th first-rounder to come to terms.

According to a source, Nicks will receive $6.5 million in signing-bonus money.

Peter Schaffer, Nicks' agent, said the receiver -- the last of the Giants' nine picks to reach a deal with the team -- was to sign the contract later Saturday at the University at Albany, where the Giants hold training camp.

"It was very important for Hakeem to be in training camp on time, so he can do his part to help the team win a championship," Schaffer said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "He did not want to miss any practice time while his teammates were on the field, and that was a strong impetus to get the deal done."

Schaffer and Giants assistant general manager Kevin Abrams hammered out the agreement early Saturday morning after working out the details during the past three days, Schaffer said.

"Our objective every year is to have these rookies in camp on time," general manager Jerry Reese said. "Training camp is the start of the long haul to get to where we want to be as a team. We all have a lot of hard work ahead of us, and this is the start. It's important for the rookies to be in sync with the rest of the team from the start, because we expect them to contribute to our success. Every year."

Having Nicks in camp on time was important because coach Tom Coughlin is trying to find the right receiving combinations after Plaxico Burress was released in the offseason after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh late last year at a Manhattan nightclub.

Burress testified in Manhattan earlier this week before a grand jury investigating a weapons charge against him.

Burress, who has not signed with another team, faces up to 3½ years in prison and is free on $100,000 bail.

Nicks, 21, set 14 school receiving records in three seasons with North Carolina, leaving as its career leader in catches (181), yardage (2,840) and touchdown receptions (21).

"Everybody wants to make comparisons to Plax," Schaffer said. "Hakeem is going to do what Hakeem can do to help the Giants win a championship. The differences in personality and character between the two is so different, and I'm not taking a shot at Plax, either. This kid is a solid person in everything: character, personality, everything."

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer