The Indianapolis Colts are interested in adding another receiver through free agency; and all reports have indicated that the player might be former Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker. Yet, late yesterday a story emerged that Hakeem Nicks is highly interested in teaming up with Andrew Luck. Saying “I would be dangerous with a quarterback like Andrew Luck.”
So with two of the top receivers on the market on the Colts radar, who should the Colts go after? Both would like to get a similar contract to that of Mike Wallace received last year when he signed with the Miami Dolphins( 5 years at 60 million), and we all saw what happens when a player gets put into a system that they do not fit in. Wallace finished the 2013 season with 930 yards receiving and only 5 touchdowns, his lowest touchdown total since entering the league in 2009.
While Nicks is coming off of an injury plagued season he might need to sign a one year deal in order to get a heftier payday, he is reportedly wanting his long-term deal now. Speaking with ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Nicks stated ” I just want to make it clear that I want a long-term deal and I want to be happy. I’m excited about talking to teams and making it work.”.
So what about Eric Decker? His numbers may be inflated some with catching passes the last two seasons from Peyton Manning, but there is no question he is a solid receiver in the league. However he is more of a prototypical number two receiver and not a one. Yet, someone will pay him Wallace type numbers to come in and perform right way.
Lets break down each players number from the last two seasons. Nick’s production has gone down since emerging as a Pro Bowl caliber receiver in 2010, in the last two season he has 109 receptions on 202 targets, with only 1,598 yards and a measly three touchdowns. He had ZERO in 2013. As for Decker, he has 172 receptions on 260 targets for 2,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. So on paper Nicks is no match for Decker. So Decker would be the better of the two, right? Wrong.
With T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Trent Richardson, Colby Fleener, and Dwayne Allen all being threats in the receiving game there is now way Decker will have over 120 targets with the Colts in 2014, something he has had the past two seasons in Denver. Hilton had a team high with 138 targets in 2013, mainly because Wayne went down early in the season with ACL tear.
So if Decker catches 66 percent of his targets and he is targeted say 90 times that gives Decker 59 catches give or take in his first season with the Colts. That would give him 802 yards receiving because of his 13.6 yards per reception the last two seasons. He has averaged a touchdown catch every 7.16 receptions, so that would leave him with 8 touchdowns on the year. Solid numbers, but are those numbers worthy of a 40 plus million dollar contract? No.
With Nicks, the question is whether he can stay healthy and get back to his more productive years when he was a major threat to score in the red zone, something the Colts desperately need. In 2010 Nicks was targeted 23.7 percent of passes thrown in the red zone by the Giants. Good enough for 11th in the league that year. That is the player that is wanting the long-term contract, not the guy who has only three touchdowns in the last two years.
So Colts fans, be weary of Decker and Nicks. While they may look flashy on paper and could help the team, neither are worth the money they want and will indubitably receive come free agency tomorrow.