Numbing News On NicksDecember 23rd, 2013
Yesterday, Bucs fans saw left guard Jamon Meredith get a mid-game benching in favor of Ted Larsen, who’s not new to being told to ride the pine.
Together they were filling in for the human armoire, Carl Nicks, who has been a mess over two seasons with a bad toe on a bad foot, made more complicated by multiple bouts with MRSA.
FOXSports.com NFL guru Mike Garofolo has been sniffing around on all things Nicks and compiled a long report today from a variety of off-the-record sources. His news doesn’t clarify much, but none of it was good.
Here’s a snippet that includes some of the cash involved:
Sources say Nicks has received mixed messages on whether he will be able to resume his career and regain the form he displayed with the Saints that led the Bucs to give him a five-year, $47.5 million contract before last season as one of the big acquisitions to kick off the Schiano era. One source said Nicks is hoping his upcoming trip to see a specialist will provide some clarity in that regard.
Nicks is slated to earn $7 million in base salary in 2014, $6 million of which is guaranteed for injury only. The team has not yet placed him on injured reserve or the non-football injury list. Kicker Lawrence Tynes has criticized the team’s decision to place him on the NFI list and has filed a grievance to fight the distinction. Tynes claims he contracted MRSA at the team’s facility and should therefore be placed on IR. Tynes has implied the Bucs placed him on NFI to avoid the perception of admitting they’re liable.
The business side of this is key for Tampa Bay. If Nicks is determined to have a football injury (aka non-MRSA) and the Bucs have to pay him at least $6 million of the $7 million due him next season, then you better believe the Bucs will stick by Nicks and hope he has a stunning recovery by September.
That could further spell doom for Davin Joseph, who’s slated to earn $6 million next season. Joe can’t see the Bucs carrying two physically questionable guards at that salary. Not again.