Hakeem Nicks Would Be an Intriguing Replacement for Eric Decker


Dec 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) tries to stiff arm San Diego Chargers cornerback Richard Marshall (31) during second half action at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have to start thinking about making tough decisions for the 2014 free agency period, and one decision that no one wants to have to make is letting go of Eric Decker.

The free agent receiver and former third round pick is expected to make a splash on the market in March, and the Broncos will have a huge decision to make.

With big contracts certainly coming for Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas in 2015, the Broncos face the tough decision of letting Eric Decker bolt for another team. It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s something they may have to live with. Decker could command $9 million annually, and that is just simply too rich for the Broncos’ blood.

One possible scenario would be letting go of Wes Welker and his $6 million cap hit, and that’s another tough decision to make but if the Broncos felt like they couldn’t move along without Decker, that would likely have to be a consideration.

Taking a look at free agent receivers this year, one name that intrigues me is Hakeem Nicks, who would likely take a relatively team-friendly two or three-year deal to cash in again when he is 28 or 29 years old.

Nicks is coming off of one of his worst years as a pro, at least taking into account touchdowns (or lack thereof). One place where he could really shine is in Denver, catching balls from the other Manning brother which would also provide the NFL with an interesting storyline.

If the Broncos and Decker part ways, I like the idea of adding Nicks, a guy who is a big target that can do a lot of the same things Decker did, but potentially with a higher ceiling. The problem is, both guys struggle with dropped passes.

I think either way, the Broncos will be spending a bit of money on the wide receiver position in free agency and they’ll also look to one in the draft and some college free agents to shore up the position. Peyton Manning will certainly not have a shortage of targets, especially after the Broncos saw what kind of success they could have last year with four big names at the WR/TE positions.

Denver has been developing a couple of players on the practice squad, but you can’t be overly reliant upon those guys to come in and replace what Decker gave you. It’s going to take a decent draft pick as well as a ‘bigger’ name free agent signing to replace him if they let him leave.