News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Colts

March 14, 2014

Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks

INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Grigson loves to make a deal. The Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager has earned a reputation around the National Football League as a guy who will act decisively and quickly if there’s somebody that he really wants.

That trait proved true again Friday as the Colts added former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to the team’s roster.

Nicks reportedly signed a one-year $3.5 million contract. An official breakdown of his deal won’t be known until it is filed to the league offices.

“Hakeem is a big, tough, and highly competitive wide receiver who knows what it takes to win,” Grigson sad in a prepared statement. “His big-play potential requires attention from the defense every time he’s out on the field.

“He adds another highly talented playmaker to our offense and we are happy to announce he is now an Indianapolis Colt.”

The former first-round draft pick from North Carolina in 2009 gives Indianapolis another veteran NFL receiver and a bit of an insurance policy if Reggie Wayne doesn’t make a complete recovery from knee surgery.

Wayne was hurt against Denver on Oct. 20, 2013 but all reports are that he is ahead of schedule in his rehab and should be ready to go by the start of the 2014 regular season.

With the team’s most experienced receiver sidelined, the Colts were forced to depend on a young group of receivers, led by a pair of second-year vets in T.Y. Hilton and Griff Whalen. LaVon Brazill, another second-year player, and rookie Da’Rick Rogers also saw extensive playing time over the final month of the season and in the playoffs.

The addition of Nicks should give Indianapolis another proven, experienced NFL receiver who has already performed well in the post-season.

The 6-foot-1, 208 pound receiver caught 311 passes for 4,622 yards and 27 touchdowns in 70 regular season games (59 starts) over the last five seasons (2009-2013) with New York.

He also totaled 28 receptions for 444 yards and four touchdowns in four postseason starts. Since 2009, Nicks ranks eighth in the NFC in receiving yards, ninth in receptions and tied for 15th in receiving touchdowns.

Nicks recorded 444 postseason receiving yards en route to the Giants 2011 Super Bowl XLVI victory, which ranks as the second-most in a single postseason in NFL history. His 28 receptions also rank tied for second, while his four touchdown receptions are tied for sixth.

In the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI win over New England, Nicks caught a game-high 10 passes for 109 yards. That game, ironically, was played at Lucas Oil Stadium.

There was definitely some strong ties in Indianapolis for Nicks. His college position coach, Charlie Williams, is the Colts’ wide receivers coach. A former New York Giants teammate, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, is on the roster.

Additionally, former Colts linebacker David Thornton, who is now Indianapolis’ director of player engagement, also played collegiately at North Carolina.

• Costa added to roster — Nicks is only the latest addition to the Colts offseason roster. Indianapolis signed former Dallas Cowboys center Phil Costa signed a two-year $2.7 million contract with the team Thursday evening.

A former starter with the Cowboys, the 6-3, 302-pound Costa has $450,000 of his $1.2 million 2014 base contract guaranteed. Another $1 million is available in incentives and escalators.

“Phil is a young, hard-nosed and physical center who has shown he can play at a winning level in our league,” Grigson said. “He will provide strong competition at the center position.”

Indianapolis lost former offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach to Kansas City on Wednesday. Costa is expected to help provide depth along the offensive line and compete for a starting job.

The Colts are still reportedly interested in adding Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl center Alex Mack to the mix. Mack, though, was given the Browns’ transition tag. Other teams can propose a contract but Cleveland would have five days to match any potential offer.

He has until late July to either work out a deal with another team or play for the Browns in 2014. Mack would earn $10.039 million if he were to sign his one-year tender.

• Former Colts — Since veteran free agency began Tuesday afternoon, the Colts have lost the services of safety Antoine Bethea (San Francisco), running back Donald Brown (San Diego), inside linebacker Kavell Conner (San Diego) and Linkenbach.

Inside linebacker Pat Angerer, who has battled injury issues the past two seasons, has already been told that Indianapolis will not re-sign him. Wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey, who signed with the Colts as a free agent last spring, is not expected back as well.

 

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