Hakeem Nicks
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Former New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks wants one more shot at football before he hangs it up and Eli Manning is still in his corner.

After the New Orleans Saints waived former New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks in the summer of 2016, he hasn’t found his way back onto the field. Nicks, 31, has been without an NFL team since then, although has been doing what he can to get back to football.

Having worked out with his former quarterback Eli Manning this offseason, Nicks said Manning inspired him to take a go at the XFL. Nicks participated at an XFL Summer Showcase this week at Montclair State University, where he worked out for the head coach of the XFL’s New York/New Jersey team. That head coach just happens to be his former offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride.

“Eli was like, ‘Man, you’ve still got a step. Why don’t you see if you can still give it a shot? You’re still young enough,'” Nicks said, via James Kratch of NJ.com. “All my friends are in my corner still, pushing me to play. They know I love the game of football. It is what it is.”

In 92 career games in the NFL, Nicks racked up 356 receptions for 5,081 yards and 31 touchdowns. The majority of those statistics were with Manning as his quarterback in New York.

Nicks doesn’t even want to play for much longer either. He claims that he just wants one year to get back into football before he gets too old.

“I just want one last year to go at it and play before I get in my late 30s,” Nicks said. “I just want one last season, whether it be the NFL or the XFL. I’m not closing any doors. I just want one last year to play ball. This was the opportunity, so I came and showed out.”

Hopefully, Nicks gets his shot. He was always a great target for Manning before the Odell Beckham Jr.-Sterling Shepard era. Nicks had good qualities as a receiver too, with great hands and physicality, he was a dominant presence through the air.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.