If the Detroit Lions want to make a splash in free agency at the wide receiver position, Hakeem Nicks in a player they could consider. Nicks may have thought at one time he would find a big deal out there somewhere, but concerns over injuries and production from teams means that offer might not be there.
According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Nicks is willing to accept a one-year deal to prove himself then hit the open market again in 2015.
While a one-year deal might sound on the surface like a way for the cap-strapped Lions to get in on one of the better free agent wide receivers, it also means they won’t be able to construct a deal which keeps the cap hit low in one year while bumping up the cap hit on subsequent years. The Lions used that strategy to do their free agent shopping a year ago despite limited cap space.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio suggests teams may have their own ideas about how to do a Nicks deal that allows Nicks to “prove it” while protecting the team from him doing so at their expense, only to leave a year later:
Teams may be more interested in a multi-year deal that operates like a one-year contract, placing a significant, non-guaranteed option bonus into the second year of the contract in order to reap the benefit of Nicks proving that 2012 and 2013 was a fluke.
The more creative the contract gets, the more likely the Lions could make something work – provided they have interest, of course.