Unrequited love can be a dangerous game in NFL free agency. For the San Diego Chargers and free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, treading lightly might be the best way to go about things.
In an interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the former North Carolina Tar Heel has expressed interest in joining the Chargers. Nicks said, “I want to go to a team where I’m the missing link … I can see myself catching passes from Cam Newton or even Philip Rivers.”
Recently, the former New York Giant has expressed interest in signing just a one-year deal to bet against himself and show teams that he is motivated to play. It seems though, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, that that tune has since changed.
Does a move to America’s Finest City work for both parties?
In this instance, I’m not so sure.
The quick change of tune from Nicks is somewhat alarming. When you come out as strongly as the veteran wide receiver did on Sunday, in being so adamant he would take a one-year deal, you give NFL clubs and the public the perception you are different than most
But the backpedaling from Nicks in less than a 24-hour period has to draw some concerns. If Nicks’ true desire is for a long-term deal, why not stick with that? Why make yourself seem desperate to show teams that you are willing to take what would be a huge gamble on yourself?
The body of work for the former Giant is interesting in itself as well. Nicks’ inabilities to remain healthy have been a concern for several years now, and have really strained the wide receiver from being what he has the potential to be: a top-flight wide receiver. We caught a glimmer of that potential in 2011 during the Giants’ epic run to their second Super Bowl in five seasons, and fourth in franchise history. Nicks proved to be a valuable asset on their playoff run and was dynamic alongside breakout star Victor Cruz.
The last two seasons however have been disconcerting and disappointing. Nicks played only 13 games in 2012 and in 15 games last season, Nicks failed to collect even one receiving touchdown. With three touchdowns in the last two seasons, the Charlotte native might not pass the eye test.
Hakeem Nicks will obviously be picked up by someone who is willing to give him the money that he so desires. And in the NFL, it’s hard to argue against players trying to get as much as they can on the open market. But Nicks’ tactics as of late are a bit abrasive, and should force the Chargers to use caution.