ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has circulated documents to all NFL teams that include doctors' assurances that " past foot and knee injuries should not inhibit the wide receiver's 2014 season, according to a league source."
Unless Nicks re-signs with the Giants before 4 pm ET on Tuesday (which is extremely unlikely), he will be a free agent and able to negotiate with any team. As of noon Saturday, in fact, teams were permitted to contact Nicks' agent to discuss contract parameters.
Mort also reports that Nicks " is willing to weigh a one-year contract to prove his past two seasons were aberrations, league sources said."
So, a couple of things on this:
1. If Nicks really can offer documented proof that past leg injuries haven't sapped his speed and explosiveness, good for him, because there's none on his 2013 game tape.
2. If physical problems weren't limiting Nicks in 2013, and I were an interested team, I'd have a ton of questions about what was limiting him. If he was as healthy as he says he was, then it's reasonable to conclude that we were watching a player give somewhat minimal effort on the field because he was overly concerned about getting injured in his walk year. And if he's that kind of player (which nothing in his previous history ever indicated he was), that's going to turn off a team or two.
3. The one-year deal thing could happen with a lot of high-profile guys coming off down years. B.J. Raji is talking about one with the Packers, for instance. With the salary cap set to rise dramatically in the next two seasons, players know there's going to be even more money in the pool for them next year. If you're willing to bet on yourself, why not take a one-year deal and hit the market again a year from now after a better season? Nicks would only be 27 when next year's market opened.
The problem is, Nicks just had a lousy contract year, and signing a one-year deal would put him in the same position he occupied in 2013. And who'd want that player again? That's a player that gets offensive coordinators fired.
I have been saying for a while that, if Nicks really is healthy, someone's going to get a very good player for next year and beyond. My sense with regard to the Giants is that they're far enough down on Nicks due to his disappointing 2013 season that they won't be the team that signs him. I think a team or two will be willing to pay for the player Nicks was earlier in his career on the belief that, at age 26, he can still be that player again. So he'll probably get a nice deal somewhere. Other than East Rutherford.