It’s official, free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (6-1, 208, 26 yrs. old) is a Colt. Jim Irsay announced it moments after NFL.com’s Ian Rappoport tweeted that the team and Nicks were close to a deal. Apparently, they were closer than anyone thought.
We just agreed to terms with Hakeem Nicks
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) March 14, 2014
According to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star, the deal was for 1-year and $3.5 million. Most people expected at least a two-year deal for $4.5 + per season. This sound much better.
Nicks’s catch rate and receptions were down last year, as he was catching passes from some version of his quarterback known as “Bad Eli.” This “Bad Eli” Manning had possibly the worst season of his career, seeing his completion rate drop as he finished with 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.
Despite the struggles of Manning’s evil alter ego, Nicks reeled in 56 of 102 targets for 896 yards and a 16-yard per catch average. Anyone who averages 16-yards per reception has more than just a nasty stiff arm. That’s game speed for the former North Carolina Tar Heel.
Nicks graded out a pedestrian 0.1 last year according to Pro Football Focus, as he struggled alongside his quarterback, but he was a solid 11.1 in 13 games in 2012, 22.2 over 18 games during the Giants’ 2011 Super Bowl run (with “Good Eli” Manning).
Suffice to say, when the quarterback is on, so is Hakeem Nicks. And in Indianapolis, he’ll be joining Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton on the field with one of the best young quarterbacks in the game.
Indy needed another contributor at wide receiver, not just a gamble on the unproven trio of Rogers, Whalen, and Brazill. Now, the front office can focus on other positions of need.
Here are a few reactions to the deal from around the instantaneous world of Twitter:
— Matt Overton (@MattOverton_LS) March 14, 2014
If reports are true, Nicks at $3.5M plus incentives is a steal. #Colts
— George Bremer (@gmbremer) March 14, 2014
This is an infinitely better move than the DHB signing because Nicks has shown an ability to be very good
— Greg Cowan (@GregCowanCA) March 14, 2014
So … now the #Colts’ list of needs has been reduced to center and safety. That is, apparent immediate needs.
— Phillip B Wilson (@pwilson24) March 14, 2014
Might not be popular opinion, but I am ecstatic to have Hakeem Nicks' talents on my team to go along with Luck,Hilton,Wayne and company.
— Andrew J. Ross (@AJRoss94) March 14, 2014