On Friday night, the Indianapolis Colts signed wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to a one-year deal worth up to $5.5 million. While they’ve got him locked in for one season, could Nicks help create a premiere passing attack for the Colts down the road?
For the immediate future, this is a great signing. Andrew Luck has a new toy to play with and Reggie Wayne has a nice compliment playing opposite of him. With T.Y. Hilton also on roster, the Colts now have three receivers who can make plays. Either one of the three can go for over 100 yards in a single game.
Despite the fact that Nicks’ productivity significantly decreased over the last several seasons, I see him thriving in a new and more positive situation. With the New York Giants, his 2013 season was filled with talk of his “situation,” referring to his contract negotiations, or lack thereof. In Indianapolis, he gets a new start and another chance to show why he was at one point a very feared receiver in the NFL.
If Nicks does live up to the hype that he still carries due to past performances, the possibility of him becoming a long-term receiver for them are real. With Wayne entering his 15th year in the NFL, the time is approaching for him to retire. Wayne is also coming off of knee surgery to repair his ACL. Eventually, he’ll be gone and the Colts will need a new No. 1 receiver.
With Nicks, the Colts would have a suitable replacement. Between 2010 and 2011, he caught 155 passes for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns. While he totaled 109 receptions for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns the next two seasons, he was still targeted at least 100 times. Meaning the Giants still wanted him to be an integral part of the offense because of his ability.
In Indianapolis, Nicks joins a much better passing attack. As long as he doesn’t mind being the No. 2 receiver for a season or two, this has the potential to produce one of the league’s most feared aerial attacks. Luck is a rising star and he has the ability to make average receivers stars. As he continues to improve, this will be the perfect opportunity for Nicks to be taken to the next level and become a featured receiver in the NFL again.
While Nicks is currently signed to a one-year contract, this situation has the potential for many years of success for him and the Colts down the road. If he can play his way to a new deal at the end of the year, Nicks could find himself back atop the list of the NFL’s best receivers.