The Hakeem Nicks free agency race has started and team like the Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers and NY Jets could be in the mix for the NY Giants free agent WR as he is set to officially hit the market on Tuesday and it looks likely that he will be leaving New York for another team.
Nicks was a huge part of the Giants Super Bowl run a couple years ago, but after two injury plagued and disappointing seasons, the team is allowing him to hit the free agent market. Jerry Reese and the Giants ideally would like to re-sign him, but after bringing back Victor Cruz and having over a dozen players hit free agency, it looks like Nicks will be moving on. According to ESPN.com, Nicks spoke to Josina Anderson about hitting free agency and he spoke about some teams that he would be interested in joining, mentioning the Colts, Chargers and Panthers, saying that he could see himself catching passes from Cam Newton, Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck.
Nicks spoke about being part of a team where he is the "missing link" and could step in and help that team elevate to the next level and three teams he mentioned coincidentally have needs at his position. The Colts need a consistent option that can take over when Reggie Wayne retires and with TY Hilton coming up as well adding someone like Nicks could open up the offense for Luck. The Chargers have a breakout in Keenan Allen after his great rookie season and they were hit hard by injuries at the position last year to Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander and bringing on a player like Nicks could give Allen even more opportunities.
Cam Newton and the Panthers are very likely to look at the wide receiver position in free agency with the Steve Smith situation and adding to that is the fact that Nicks played his college ball at North Carolina. Nicks clarified that he wants a long term deal after CBS Sports reported that he would be open to a one-year deal. Nicks is 26 years old and after dealing with foot and knee injuries the past two years he was cleared by doctors heading into free agency and at his size he could be a great addition for a number of teams. The Giants would have loved to lock him up, but the timing did not work out and he had zero touchdowns last season and now he is likely to leave as a free agent.
Nicks is from Charlotte and another reason why he could fit well with the offense in Carolina is the way the team uses the deep ball and while he missed out on touchdowns with the Giants last season, he could be a potential red zone threat for the team. Nicks had much better seasons a couple years ago when he had at least 75 catches and 1,050 receiving yards in 2010 and 2011, but he dropped off hard over the past couple seasons. The Giants are more likely to sign Justin Tuck back and they also could look at names like James Jones, Golden Tate, Julian Edelman and Eric Decker could be potential targets.