Hakeem Nicks may not be the large, strong wide receiver the Carolina Panthers are looking for in the offseason, but he sure is better than nothing.
As of right now, the Panthers are a team running out of options at wide receiver, and need to make a bring in new players during both free agency and the NFL Draft. Nicks clearly has desire to play in Carolina, stating “I can see myself catching passes from Cam Newton” in an interview, and he would bring a new pair of good hands and fast feet to the team.
At first glance, it is clear why there are many teams who have their doubts about Nicks. His last year left much to be desired, as he only recorded 896 yards with no touchdowns. Not only that, but the Panthers want somebody who can run the middle of the field, as well as make some key catches in traffic. Nicks, weighing in at around 208 pounds and measuring at 6-foot-1, is not exactly the bruiser type of wide receiver that Carolina wants, but he would be a good acquisition, as well as a great replacement for Steve Smith, for a number of reasons.
Since the 2011 season, where he posted a solid seven touchdowns and 1,192 receiving yards, Nicks has been on the decline. However, this may not be as bad as it seems. Nicks has shown that he has potential to be a solid wide receiver, recording six, seven and 11 touchdown receptions in his first three years. Not only that, but every year he has played in the NFL, he has had around 1,000 yards receiving, which is something that would fit Carolina’s needs quite well and supply Cam Newton with an able target.
Another reason that Nicks would be good for the Panthers is because of his lackluster 2013 season. He also will not demand a large contract, which would allow the Panthers a little more room to spend some of their money on other players.
Nicks may not seem like the ideal fit on paper, but for a team that has no wide receivers and who could use an experienced player, he is a player that the Panthers could most definitely use.