The trade deadline is Oct. 29, so if the Colts want to fill the void created after the future Hall of Fame wide receiver tore his ACL in the Week 7 win against the Denver Broncos, they'll have to act fast.
While Indianapolis could move forward without acquiring a pass-catcher from another team, let's examine some trade possibilities.
Thanks to—let's call him overzealous—owner Jim Irsay, the Colts don't have an abundance of trade ammunition at this stage.
Here's a look at the current state of Indianapolis' 2014 draft picks, according to Pro Sports Transactions:
- Round 1 - Traded to Cleveland Browns for Trent Richardson
- Round 2 - Available
- Round 3 - Available
- Round 4 - Traded to Cleveland Browns for 2013 Round 5 pick (Montori Hughes)
- Round 5 - Available
- Round 6 - Available
- Round 7 - Traded to San Francisco 49ers for Cam Johnson
- Unknown conditional pick was acquired when Colts traded A.Q. Shipley to Baltimore Ravens
Technically, Indianapolis could dangle either its second- or third-round pick in hopes of adding a receiver.
However, going into the 2014 draft without a first- and fourth-rounder and potentially without a second- or third-rounder wouldn't be promising for the future construction of the team's relatively young roster that has holes.
The Colts could dive into their 2015 draft picks or trade a player, but the immediately upcoming draft selections are the most commonly used trade compensation.
Nicks is young, talented and in a contract year on a 1-6 team—it's easy to understand why he's an enticing trade candidate heading into Week 8.
The 6'0'', 210-pound former first-round pick will turn 26 in January and carries a career 14.9 yards-per-reception average.
While the New York Giants would likely ask for a second-round selection in return for Nicks, which would be a hefty price tag, the Colts could sign him long term and groom him as the eventual replacement for the 35-year-old Wayne on the outside of Indianapolis' offense.
If the Colts are dead set on drafting a wideout in Round 2 of the 2014 draft anyway, their front office and coaching staff would have to decide if they believe they can get more out of Nicks right away than a rookie in 2014 and if the rather large disparity in contract value would make a trade for the New York pass-catcher worth it.
Nicks has no touchdown catches in 2013—after 27 in his first four seasons— and has dropped six passes, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), statistics that might negatively affect what they Giants will be able to get for the wideout.
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted the following about Josh Gordon on Oct. 21:
At least 3 teams have contacted Browns about deal for WR Josh Gordon; two have standing offers of a high pick and a player. Browns balking.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 21, 2013
Sounds like serious business.
Gordon, 22, is a 6'3'', 225-pound blossoming superstar wide receiver.
He was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
In 21 career contests, the former Baylor standout has made 77 receptions and amassed 1,255 yards (16.3 average) with seven touchdowns, despite playing all but three games with the inconsistent Brandon Weeden at quarterback.
With the frame to shield defenders and the speed to hit the big play, Gordon has an exceptionally appealing wide receiver skill set.
Would a second-round pick be enough for the Colts to acquire the Browns top playmaker?
But if the Colts want to bundle their Round 2 selection and a late-round choice, Cleveland's front office could budge.
It would be expensive, but like Nicks, with Gordon, the Colts wouldn't need to draft a wideout early in 2014.
Britt is another relatively young and inherently talented wide receiver. Similar to Nicks, he's a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. Similar to Gordon, he's had off-the-field issues.
He missed the first outing of the 2012 campaign after violating the league's substance abuse policy.
At this point, the 6'3'', 223-pound wideout is probably the most likely to be traded, as he's slowly but surely been phased out of the Tennessee Titans offense this season.
Rotoworld.com wrote the following about Britt's frustration:
Britt rarely saw the field until late in the game. He ended up getting a personal foul penalty in the end zone against Eric Reid. Britt was fired up emotionally and threw his helmet to the ground as he headed to the sideline.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the former first-round pick played only two snaps in Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks and 21 out of a possible 62 offensive snaps against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7.
Which WR should the Colts trade for?
Could the Colts package draft picks together and change coach Mike Munchak's mind on a receiver who's been targeted only 25 times in 2013?
It can't be ruled out, right?
Britt caught 42 passes for 775 yards with nine touchdowns in 2010 and is only 25 years old.
While he's proven to be troubled off the field and has dealt with knee, neck and rib injuries, a change of scenery would probably be the best option for him.
The Titans traded their 2014 third-round selection to the 49ers during the 2013 draft, so they could be interested in either the Colts' third- or fifth-round pick in exchange for Britt's services.