Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 18
Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star has the latest on Hakeem Nicks' deal with the Colts:
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks reached an agreement Friday with the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year deal, the team announced:
ESPN's Adam Schefter initially had the report:
Jason La Canfora of CBS provides financial details of the deal:
Nicks' first three seasons with the New York Giants suggested he was on the road to stardom. He averaged over 1,000 yards per year and tallied 24 touchdowns over that span. In 2011, the final year of that run, he teamed with Victor Cruz to create one of the top receiving duos in the NFL.
His numbers dropped off in a major way over the last two years, however. He finished with fewer than 60 catches in both seasons with just three total touchdowns, including none during the 2013 campaign.
Aside from the drop in production, Nicks has dealt with a myriad of injury issues during his career, which seemed to sap some of his playmaking ability. He's never played in all 16 regular-season games during his five years in the league.
Yet, he hasn't lost faith in his ability to make a major impact. "I still consider myself one of the top receivers in this league and I'm going to go out and prove it," Nicks told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post after his disappointing 2013 season.
Now, he'll get a chance to prove it.
There are obviously question marks about Nicks' chances of getting back to the top tier of wideouts. The fact the entire Giants offense struggled mightily last season must be taken into account, though. He was far from the only player on the unit to endure a down year.
Pro Football Focus still considered him a top-10 free agent and stated he could end up being the best player from the class if he returns to form in 2014:
The question is if Nicks can get back to the player he was when he was so very, very good in 2011. If he does then you’ve got the best player available in free agency, but if he shows up like he did the past two years you’ll be disappointed.
After an offseason where he had an opportunity to shake off any lingering injuries, he gets a fresh start and a chance to prove he remains a valuable asset on the outside.
Of course, finding the end zone would be a good start. Nicks was a big-play target for the Giants during the early portion of his career, and he must get back to excelling in that role if he's going to revive his career after a couple mundane campaigns.
All told, Nicks still has the tools to succeed. He must put those skills back on display to show the signing was a good investment.