Hakeem Nicks is exactly what the Jets have lacked in recent years, and he would be a perfect fit for them going forward. The 25 year old Nicks is a free agent this off-season after spending his entire 5 year career so far as a Giant.
Jets fans will point to the fact that Nicks had a ‘down year’ statistically this season. Nicks’ down year saw him rack up 896 receiving yards, more than the Jets leading receiver Jeremy Kerley, who amassed only 523 yards this year. In fact, Nicks’ yardage mark this year is better than any Jet has had since Jerricho Cotchery put together 1,130 yards back in 2007 (Chad Pennington was your starter coming into that year Jets fans). In three of Nicks’ five years in the NFL he has gained more yards than the Jets leading receiver, only in the 2012 season, one in which he played only 13 games, and his 2009 rookie campaign, did he fail to do so. Nicks has shown that he has the ability to be a number one receiver in this league, and at 25 years old still has plenty of years left in him.
Nicks also presents an attractive option for off the field reasons. Namely, you never hear about him off the field. The Jets have failed to keep a low profile in recent years for all the wrong reasons. Nicks has proven he can perform at a very high level in New York and manage to keep a low profile at the same time. It’s about time the Jets employed some more players like that.
Nicks will likely not come cheap, but quality free agents rarely do. His price, however, will be significantly lower than what it could have been because he failed to catch a touchdown pass this year. The Jets would be wise to take advantage of other teams possibly overlooking the 6’1″ pass catcher and secure his services. With the contracts of Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes likely coming off the books they should have the flexibility to do so while not hamstringing themselves to make other moves. This team must start putting quality players around whoever they will have under center next year if they want to build a legitimate NFL offensive unit to compliment their solid defense. Nicks would be a perfect start towards that end, John Idzik would be wise to recognize that.
(all stats via nfl.com)