Carl Nicks Opportunity Opens

March 4th, 2012

Joe’s shared thoughts previously on the Bucs possibly adding All-Pro Saints left guard Carl Nicks in free agency. But now the opportunity is staring the Bucs’ brass in the face.

The cheating, head-hunting, tax-evading Saints, and their sleazy coaching staff and front office, have now used their franchise tag on Drew Brees, which means they can’t use it on Nicks and he’s all but sure to hit the free agent market when the bell rings on March 13. Why would Nicks want to return to New Orleans when the entire organization is in chaos and it can’t pay him what the Bucs or other teams presumably will?

This is a real interesting spot for the Buccaneers. How, with a mammouth sack of cash, can they turn their nose on a 25-year-old true star entering his fifth season who is arguably the best in the league at his position — a position the Bucs have experimented with over the past three seasons? There are very few All-Pros that hit free agency.

If it’s all about No. 5 and Greg Schiano wants a pound-the-football offense, it seems like Nicks would be a guy rockstar general manager Mark Dominik would seek in earnest. Sign Nicks. Sign Jeremy Zuttah and move him to center. And the Bucs just got a lot better and younger on the O-line, plus the Saints are weakened.

On this chilly Sunday morning, Joe’s not seeing how Dominik isn’t salivating over this opportunity.

50 Responses to “Carl Nicks Opportunity Opens”

  1. jvato24 Says:

    I agree. Does the guard position bring a value of 12 million per season?? Is this the same money it would take to sign Mario Williams ??

    Just some questions I have but am not against it.

    If we only get 1 premier FA, is Finnegan or Nicks the better Target??

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Write the check, whatever it takes to land because he will have a number of opportunities. Give him the big money up front and get him out of the Big Sleazey.

  3. Paul W. Says:

    I don’t know if we grab him but our young defensive line should definitely be salivating at the gaping hole Nicks leaves.

  4. Brad Says:

    Dominik will do what he usually does and offer the 2nd most and lose out to a more experienced GM.

  5. bucfanjeff Says:

    Agree. If the Bucs, the team with the most cap room, can’t land him it’s an EPIC FAIL.
    Short of Nicks hating the Bucs, which we don’t know, there is NO REASON we shouldn’t do everything possible to sign him.

  6. tonytwocents Says:

    Dom better do whatever it takes to reel him in. Take him to Busch Gardens in the morning – if he’s afraid of the coasters, hold his hand, in the afternoon take him to Lowry Park Zoo, let him feed the girrafs , then close the deal with a romantic dinner under the stars at Jacksons Bistro. Do It!

  7. T in Orlando Says:

    While I think it would make a great addition, I cannot imagine the Glazers/Dominick would spend over $170 million (Penn @ $52M, Joseph @ $57M, and Nicks @ at least $60M) in just under 2 years on the 3 players along the OLine.

  8. thibs5599 Says:

    All on board for this. Even though we have given huge contracts to Penn and Joseph, Nicks would be completely worth it. Plus as Joe stated, sign Zuttah as well and slide him to center, you get younger and better at two positions. Cut Faine and we clear up another 5 million dollar in cost, which is probably more than what Zuttah will cost a year. On top of all that, we will get an inside look at the saints offensive playbook. The last time we had an inside look at a teams playbook we won a championship ( just saying lol ).

  9. j lynch Says:

    Sign him move zuttha cut turnstile faine look at another Qb also freeman has”potetial” develop him or get rid of him along with Joke I mean Josh Johnson Get another running back and use that big fullback we have and teach that Blount how to follow a blocker and reconise the play not stop at the line of scrimmage and run wherever he sees a crease the design plays for a reason

  10. big007hed Says:

    I think Nicks would make this the best O-Line in the NFL with how Joe put it as Nicks, Zuttah, Joseph and Penn. The Bucs can then sign Aaron Ross or Carlos Rogers for the CB position….. I think Nicks is the best FA out there and if the Bucs don’t go after him hard I have no idea what they are doing or how Dominik has the GM job?

  11. RustyRhino Says:

    We should make sure we get this guy, would make our Dline play better, by going against a good LG/RG combination every day in practice.

  12. Macabee Says:

    Everybody agrees that Carl Nicks is one of the best, if not the best LG in the NFL. And he is going to want to be paid like it. In May, 2010 Jahri Evans, RG, Saints got a 7yr, 56.7mil contract with a 12mil signing bonus. In August, 2011 Logan Mankins got a 6yr 51mil contract with 30mil guaranteed, including a 20mil signing bonus.

    Nicks is on record saying that he wants to beat the Evans deal. Most NFL analysts don’t believe the money is there for another Evans contract nor do the Saints want to tie that much up on 2 guards. So he is going to hit the market and will probably leave unless he gives the Saints a hometown discount.

    The Bucs will have a big decision to make. This is big boy pool and we’re getting near LT money here. They have the money, but will these numbers (considering we may have to overpay) make the Bucs see more value in a Cordy Glenn, Kelechi Osemele, or a Kevin Zietler in the 2nd round?

    I would love to have Nicks but if I have to overpay to get him to come here, I’m taking a pass. LT, yes. LG, no!

  13. big007hed Says:

    With Nicks the Bucs would be able to pound the ball like nobody’s business and Freeman might actually have more than 3 seconds… Faine and Trueblood are jokes when it comes to protection

  14. jLM Says:

    Colston can come with him as a duel package.

  15. 941Buc Says:

    Even if he is expensive we will be at least $40 million under the cap

  16. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Now is the time for the Bucs to put their money where their mouth is. Nicks is a young proven player who could solidify a position that has been below average since Aaron Sears left. Move Zuttah to center and release Faine or keep him just for depth because the center position also needs a major upgrade. Mr. Glazer told the Buc’s nation that they will spend whatever they have to to put a winner on the field. This is the #1 place to start.

  17. Josh Says:

    If they truly are committed to being a power run team this could be the huge free agency splash. Then add the other cheaper pieces as they want. I just don’t see them spending that much on the line at this point with so many other holes to fill for what they are trying to build. Would be awesome though.

  18. bucfanjeff Says:

    @Macabee “They have the money, but will these numbers (considering we may have to overpay) make the Bucs see more value in a Cordy Glenn, Kelechi Osemele, or a Kevin Zietler in the 2nd round?”

    No. Nicks is a proven stud. His caliber of play automatically makes the DL better going against him in practice and it makes the LT and C better without taking a snap. Give the man a 5 yr 50mil contract – or so – and call it done.

    If he makes a visit to the Bucs, Dominick better be prepared to not let him leave.

    The PR nightmare the Bucs would have if he’s not signed would be a mess. They have said the will be active in FA and not afraid to pay where it makes sense. If you don’t sign him, how in the heck do they explain that?

  19. tonytwocents Says:

    The o-line is only as good as their weakest link…how Trueblood is still on this team is beyond me. dude would be mediocre even on the college level.

  20. gruss222 Says:

    Nicks/Carr/Finnegan. The Bucs MUST come out of FA with 2 of these 3 players. Nicks should be #1 must have target and then one of the other 2.

  21. Architek Says:

    Thats my point. You would have to grossly overpay for this player and sure he is elite but is it worth it? Well this is my question because we are going to have to iverpay most FA’s to convince them to come to a rebuilding team instead of going to a contender or more mature roster. I think he would be a SUPERB upgrade but for LT money?

  22. Stevek Says:

    This opportunity is a good measurement of the Glazer’s “interest” in Winning.

    Also, does Marky D have a clue?

    They are going to have to spend this money by this time next year, why not sign a 25 y/o All-Pro?

    This is a no brainier, and there is no excuse for the Bucs not to put in a mammoth bid on this guy.

  23. MTM Says:

    Nicks would be a great addition. But Nicks is the exact type of FA’s this organization never gets. If they put out a decent offer to him. Then he looks at the management/ownership that’s where it all ends. As much as the players look at money they also don’t want to go from a well run organization to train wreck.

  24. Garv Says:

    I’m with Joe, this would be a HUGE and needed upgrade. Good on so many levels. I expect an all out effort on the Buccaneer’s part.

    Get it done!

  25. jvato24 Says:

    Ok j Lynch … So you insult our backup QB and call him joke ??? I’m sorry is he supposed to play like an all pro in his few starts?? Then you insult a RB that has a 4.6 career average ?? What a Friggin idiot

  26. Macabee Says:

    I agree 100% with everybody that says Nicks would be a major upgrade to our O-Line. I think the Bucs should make every effort to sign him. I just think they are going to have to overpay to get him. And I don’t think they should overpay. According to Bleacher Report, the #1 and #2 teams that will bid for his services are the Cowboys (Jerry Jones) and the Redskins (Daniel Snyder). This will indeed be a test of will and conviction for the Bucs. Good Luck!

    Side note: SteveK, Nicks will be 27 in may.

  27. Stevek Says:

    Thanks Macabee!

  28. Garv Says:

    I think that once on a while you CAN overpay and this would be an excellent time to do it. Not for a Manningham but for a G of this caliber. Players understand the system.
    We have more than enough money, even with key extensions coming up, mainly JF’s.

    This would do a couple of things, excite the fan base (yes, a guard would show them SMART commitment) and make the offense much better right away.
    I really want to see it happen and honestly believe there’s a good chance it will if the Saints don’t find a way to keep him.

  29. TrueBlue Says:

    This reminds me of the Haynesworth hype. Another can’t miss, pay him anything it takes, guaranteed right move. Wonder if Washington wishes they were out bid on that deal now. I know I’m glad the Bucs were too cheap and Haynesworth got away. And the last time we upgraded the left guard position with Vincent, a supposed beast, ended up to be a beastly bust. There’s more to the free agent game then throwing money at it.

    I’m trusting the new coaching staff on where to spend money and where to walk away until proven wrong, and that will take a couple of seasons. They are supposed to be talent evaluators, lets see how it goes. It will be a fun off-season to see what they do.

  30. Kevin Says:

    Christmas on March 13 = Bucs sign Nicks. This would be a huge signing.
    My wish list: 1) V Jackson 2) Nicks 3) Finnegan 4) Tullouch

  31. GenocideD Says:

    tonytwocents Says:
    March 4th, 2012 at 11:42 am
    how Trueblood is still on this team is beyond me.

    Thanks Davin Joseph.

    My buddy’s a huge Saints fan and he says Nicks is good but not as good as the contract he’d command. He says good luck to the team that overpays him.
    I’m of the mind where I don’t care if we overpay him to solidify the LG spot for the next several years, create holes where LB can hit the second level more frequently(where he’s best) and gives Josh more time in the pocket allowing our receivers to get open more often.

    @Mr.Patrick, there’s no way we’ll keep Faine “for depth”. First, we’re not going to pay him that much as a backup, plus, he’s not going to want to be on a team where he’s not the starter.

    Also, I don’t think Zuttah is the right answer to be our starting center. We need him for his versatility and depth, just not starting center.

  32. MichiganBucsFan Says:


    The Bucs were actually the highest bidder for Mr. Haynesworth’s services. It’s not always the biggest pile of cash that wins a player in FA, the said player has to want to go there.

  33. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I would be in full support of this signing, I just have a really hard time seeing them invest this much money into the Offensive Line. Their is a lot of skill position players whose contracts are coming up in a couple years. Will be interesting.

  34. Bucfever40 Says:

    Mark, that wish list of yours would turn this team around before the 2012 season starts! In addition to a solid draft, a new coaching staff that TEACHES….anything can happen!

  35. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong on any of the following:

    1) Nicks an still be resigned by the Saints before Free Agency starts.

    2) Nicks is loyal to the Saints, so he MAY not want to go to a division rival.

    3) The Bucs will not be the only team placing bids for Nicks…and not the only team with cap room.

    4) Both Nicks and Faine played in the same system at different times. (a year apart)

    Are any of these points off?

  36. Macabee Says:

    pete, you gave great premises, but no conclusion! Opine please!

  37. Pete Dutcher Says:

    lol…that was intentional. If I give an opinion people can disagree 😉

    But actually I want Nicks pretty badly. And Colston.

    I also know that we are not the only shoppers and Nicks has a mind of his own. We could offer $5 more than anyone else, but if Nicks doesn’t want to play against the Saints, he won’t sign with us.

  38. Kevin Says:

    Pete – The only point I would contest is that Nicks is loyal to NO. This may very well be true, but he has openly stated that he did NOT want the franchise tag, and that he is looking for a contract larger than Evan’s deal. I believe he has made it plain that he is looking for a large contract, and that money talks.

  39. K1ngAdroc Says:

    Pete, Nicks is not loyal to the Saints and he wants to test the Market. As per his tweets, he has worked very hard, started every game, played at a high level, no off field drama, won a championship… (paraphrasing) – Saints have had plenty of time to resign him and now it is probably to little, to late.

    I have never been a big advocate of releasing Faine (i know that the position is not en vogue) but with this opportunity I don’t see how you can’t. Shifting Faine’s salary to a younger, pro-bowl type player and resigning a proven guy like Zuttah to a reasonable contract should solidify our line for the next 4 + years. We have backups that will get better over the yrs. If it’s all about #5, this move is all but signed on the dotted line.

    Further, the Bucs MUST sign a proven, veteran LB like lofton/Tulloch to lead this Defense. Mason will be great if he can just play and will grow into a team Leader. Thinking you can just manufacture leadership is a ridiculous premise. I’m still wondering how Mark Dom survived the transition. Now it’s time for them to put up. No more excuses


    Remember that they went after Doug Free a year ago, so they must feel the tackle position is one of need. I don’t see Dom screwing up twice….At least I hope not.

  41. Capt.Tim Says:

    Signing Nicks would be a huge upgrade for both the O-line, and the offense. This guy is a beast.

    It would show a real change in Buc policy. Trying to win, instead of cheap as hell

    As always, I hope they sign him. But don’t believe they will for one minute. Figure they’ll do a half hearted attempt, making sure they lose out in the end

  42. Capt.Tim Says:

    Just dreaming here, but lining Zuttah, Nicks, and Penn beside each other would give us the best left side in The NFL!

    We have the money.

    If only winning mattered here!

  43. FlBoy84 Says:

    If the mantra of “It’s all about #5” that Dominik always refers to is to be believed, then you’d think the team would do everything it could to help him develop. Adding Nicks would fit that profile. Think O-line depth is an area that may be addressed as well. If the team is able to resign Zuttah, trade Faine for a pick and draft a versatile guy like Zietler, Osemele, or Blake, they would solidify the line for years to come.

  44. Jordan Says:

    Sign Nicks and Robert Meachem on offense. Jason Jones and Dan Connor on Defense. Draft Claiborne in round 1 and Lamichael James in round 2. We would be right back in the thick of things!

  45. passenger27 Says:

    Let nicks set the market then go get ben grubbs for less

  46. Macabee Says:

    Cap’n Tim, Having Penn, Joseph, Zuttah, and Nicks, on the O-line would be like having a nuclear-powered submarine with a screen door (Trueblood)!

  47. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think we have a young RT on this team, that will take Trueblood’s spot

  48. marc Says:

    been with pr for ten years they still don’t have turner or zuttah signing your missing one, move z to center cut faine almost pays for itself and we are better

  49. hamilton Says:

    go after him hard.

  50. deminion Says:

    go get em!!!!!!!!!!