I love this time of the year for the National Football League. It’s free agency time, where teams build themselves up, or can collapse. While I do give a look at most of the signings, I try to focus on the ones that are part of former North Carolina players, like Hakeem Nicks. And while this move is yet to be done, I have to admit it scares me a lot for the former Tar Heel wide out.
Rumors are emerging more and more that Nicks could be headed to the Carolina Panthers, and that to me feels like a huge mistake for number 88. Why? Because it’s the same franchise that has released one of their biggest fan favorite ever… Steve Smith. For as much as Hakeem Nicks might do for the team from his home state, he is never going to replace Smith, especially not in one season. And if the former Carolina wide out was not to pan out he would find himself in a bad situation, be it as a short or long contract. It is pretty evident that Nicks wants a new start, and out of the Big Apple, but this might not be the right place to do it in.
Nicks told ESPNNY he wanted to be the missing link, but in this situation he would be replacing a legend, and that is just not going to end up well for the 26 year old wide receiver. I believe the former Tar Heel needs to go to a franchise where he could be flanked by another quality wide out while not having the pressure of replacing anyone. Maybe the presence of an older receiver by his side could be a good thing, say like Chris Carter to Randy Moss back in Minnesota, or an older QB at the helm, like Manning or Brady.
This fantasy of being the missing link for a team is going to put Nicks in a no-win situation, which in the end is going to hurt him both next year and in the seasons to come. I think the young man can produce well in the NFL, he did so in the beginning, but in order to get to being as good as he can he needs to go to a team where there is more than one option to throw to, cause being double teamed game in-game out is not going to make his come back very easy.
As I said before, the deal is not yet done, so as more comes out about this I will update all of you right here on ISPORTSWEB.