Over the last two years, when New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks' free agency was discussed, the first team that just about everyone would point to as a potential landing spot for him was the Carolina Panthers.
On the surface it makes a ton of sense for Nicks to play for the Panthers considering he was born and raised in Charlotte and played his college football at the University of North Carolina, so why not play for the hometown team in Carolina? Seems like such a nice fit, and former Giants executive Dave Gettleman is the team's general manager who pried away Domenik Hixon and Chase Blackburn last offseason, so why not Nicks too? Only it might not be that easy.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News spoke to Gettleman who is currently in Indianapolis for this weekend's NFL Scouting Combine and he didn't sound like he was in the market for a wide receiver and may choose to pass on pursuing Nicks next month in free agency.
"First of all, any wide receiver right now is still under contract," Gettleman said earlier today at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. "One of the things I learned a long time ago is often times the answer is on your roster. Nobody ever imagined we'd take (defensive tackle) Nate Chandler, turn him around, make him an offensive guard, and he'd start nine games for us. And we'd be 7-2 in those nine games. When I was with the Giants, none of us came out of camp in 2011 and expected Victor Cruz to have that kind of year. Before you run around and panic, we've had these young kids with us. We signed Marvin McNutt, claimed Tavarres King. We have two kids on our practice squad, Brenton Bersin and De'Andre Presley. So before you panic, look at your roster, trust your evaluation process, a lot of times the answer's right there."
Now, it's only the end of February and by the time March 11 rolls around, Gettleman could have a change of heart and decide that they want to get into the market for the Giants wide receiver, but at the current moment, he sounds content on sticking with what they have on the roster and if they need extra people, thye will simply look to their practice squad.
So for the time being, it might be safe to cross off the Carolina Panthers as an interested team for Nicks. Other teams who could have interest in the 26-year-old are the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers. The Giants right now seem like a long-shot to bring back Nicks, especially if he is looking for more than market value after two consecutive disappointing seasons, and now that Nicks has signed with Jay-Z's Roc Nation, it may be an even longer shot that Nicks returns to the Giants in 2014.
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