We've discussed him at length here already, but new developments make the possibility (ever so slightly) more likely. Nicks is holding out of OTAs because he wants a new contract. I would LOVE it if we could swing a trade for (being reasonable here, not gonna get him as cheaply as the Bears got Marshall) our 2nd for him.
Factors to consider:
- Of course the top issue is the fact he wants a new contract. I'm guess it'll be in the neighborhood of $10mil a year. Might he give a hometown discount? Sure, maybe. I wouldn't bet on it. I think $10mil a year is roughly what we'd have to count on having to come up with. That's a BIG number. We currently have somewhere in the neighborhood of $8.5mil. I'm not going to calculate in the rookies' numbers or the JA June 1st cut because they'll just about cancel out and there's no way to get exact numbers since the rookies' contracts aren't all done yet. So not only would we need to accumulate at least $1.5mil more cap space, we'd obviously want some padding in the case of an injury or something. We'd probably want a total of at least $3.5mil more than we currently have:
a ) First possibility, a Beason renegotiation. The man has been paid $20mil for like 4 games of service. I love him and all, but he couldn't realistically say he's earned what he has been paid on this contract. For the good of the team, it's time to help out a little bit when it's needed to make such a big improvement on an area of need.
b ) Second possibility, cut Hixon or Ginn, whoever is getting more. Cut Clausen. Cut Edwards. Cut Fua. Cut ALL the dead weight who probably won't make the team anyway. That should get us at least $2 or 3mil all combined. Use one of those tricksy GM moves to make Nicks' contract count less this year (though still getting him the money he demands). This should make us able to squeak by.
- All this criticism of Gettleman not doing enough to help our WR and Cam goes away.
- With Nicks being a legitimate, young #1 receiving threat, we can move Smitty to the slot and extend his career a bit.
- Next year's draft we can focus on LT or CB or whatever else is more pressing. This gives us a lot bigger window in which we need to get another starting caliber WR.
- We win the Super Bowl. It will already be decided.
- Definitely no Hardy extension this year, not likely to happen next year.
- Harder for Cam's extension next year.
I'm not saying I think it'll happen, or even that there's a semi decent chance it'll happen. But the chance has more of a glimmer of hope now than it did before the OTA shenanigans. It would cost us a hefty price, both in a moderately high pick (2nd round) and a pretty big contract. But I think it'd be worth it. Nicks is exactly the kind of WR we need for Cam, and he's already proven. Not a gamble (and a HUGE gamble at that) like the WRs in this year's draft would have been. He's tall, strong and has great hands. He'll be able to snag some of those high passes Cam likes to sail every now and then. He'll make Smitty a more effective WR. Smitty as a slot would be straight money. When he does drop a ball, it's more often these days a deeper pass or a sideline pass. On the underneath crossing routes and the sort of stuff he'd be doing as a slot he's as dependable as ever based on what I've seen watching every game from last year at least 4 times now. With a proven VERY good guy like Nicks on one side, a proven solid guy in Lafell on the other (when we go 3 WR) and Smitty in the slot I'd expect our offense to surpass that of Cam's rookie year. Quite possibly top 5.