You wouldn't know that by looking at his numbers. Nicks has reeled in 49 of 86 passes to date, and he has gone for 789 total receiving yards. Most noteworthy about his stats is that Nicks hasn't once found the end zone during the 2013 regular season.
Nicks has never finished a campaign without a touchdown to his name even in what would be considered to be down seasons for the five-year pro out of North Carolina. His lowest TD tally came last season when he scored only thrice.
Regardless of his overall stats come December 30, some team is eventually going to pay Nicks. He turns 26-years old in January, he's a 6-1 and 208-pound wideout with great hands, and he has gotten the job done on the biggest stage of pro football.
Whether or not the team that makes Nicks an even richer man will be the Giants has yet to be determined. The two sides haven't come to any agreement as of the posting of this piece, and every day that trend continues makes it a little more likely that Nicks will be playing for a different team in 2014.
Here is where the Cleveland Browns come in. That there are some concerns that Nicks may no longer have the goods to be a No. 1 WR on a playoff team shouldn't worry Cleveland. The Browns have Josh Gordon, who has emerged as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. Gordon has 71 catches, 1,400 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns in just eleven games played (he served a two-game suspension at the start of the season) in 2013.
Tight end Jordan Cameron has been a revelation for the Browns. He has caught 72 of 104 targets, and Cameron is second on the team in receiving touchdowns with seven. It is also very likely that Cleveland will be taking a wide receiver with a high draft pick. Some mock drafts out there right now have the Browns going WR and not quarterback with their first overall selection.
While maybe on the downside of what could be a shorter career than many imagined years ago, Nicks would undoubtedly be an upgrade over the likes of Davone Bess, Armanti Edwards, Tori Gurley and even Greg Little. Little has shown traces of improvement this season, but he has only caught 35 of 84 passes tossed his way. That can't be blamed just on shaky quarterback play.
There is one thing the Browns will have to consider before even taking a flier on Nicks. New York not holding onto the wide receiver, if that does happen come this offseason, could be a telling sign about what may be the player's diminishing physical skills. Nicks' body has betrayed him every season since his rookie campaign, and the last time the Giants let a banged up WR go in free agency was 2011 when Steve Smith signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Smith caught a total of 25 passes in two seasons after he moved on from the Giants. He retired last May.
The Browns giving Nicks a massive long-term overpriced deal would be silly. Nobody is suggesting otherwise. Nicks would be a very good No. 2 on the Cleveland depth chart, a champion who could provide some wisdom for younger players and a veteran WR who could help a rookie QB ease into what will ideally be a successful career.
He may not be worth a contract when all is said and done, but Nicks is certainly worthy of a phone call from the Browns.
For more: Josh Gordon better than Megatron?
Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Hakeem Nicks
- New York Giants
- Cleveland Browns
- The Browns