The San Francisco 49ers are still kicking the tires on some free agents, looking to boost depth on both sides of the ball. After a weekend of inside linebackers news, we have some wide receiver news. ESPN's Josina Anderson is reporting Hakeem Nicks told her he is traveling to California to meet with the 49ers.
Nicks spent last season with the Indianapolis Colts, finishing with 38 receptions for 405 yards and four touchdowns. Prior to that, Nicks spent five season with the New York Giants. Nicks had his two best seasons in 2010 and 2011, averaging 77 receptions, 1,122 yards and nine touchdowns those two years. In his final two seasons with the Giants in 2012 and 2013, he averaged 54 receptions, 794 yards and had three total touchdowns.
I spoke with Ed Valentine from Big Blue View, and he said Nicks's fall from glory was due in large part to playing through a variety of leg injuries. He said:
He's lost some physical ability due to the leg injuries and he really is little more than complementary guy now. He'll catch what you throw to him, but he's not a primary guy. I think the Giants began to question how much he had left, and how badly he still wanted to be there.
His stint in Indianapolis showed they were right that he really isn't a top-tier, impact guy any longer. I think he can probably help a team as a third or fourth guy, but not as a font-line 70-80 catch guy.
Fooch's update: I got some additional comments from Josh over at Stampede Blue.
When Hakeem Nicks was signed by the Colts last offseason, many fans were excited about the possibility of him reaching the level of play that he was at a few years ago when he was one of the best in the league. Recently, however, he had not been nearly as effective, and the hope was that on a one-year, "prove it" deal he could really improve. Simply put, that didn't happen. From the first day of training camp it was evident that his timing with quarterback Andrew Luck just wasn't there, and this showed up numerous times throughout the season (even leading to interceptions at times). He didn't have an explosive burst and rather was very much a situational role player for the Colts. With that said, however, he did step up toward the end of the season and he actually was a solid third wide receiver option for the Colts over the final few weeks of the season. Any team that signs him (whether it be the 49ers or another team) will be hoping that he plays like he did at the end of the season for the Colts while improving on that. He's probably nothing more than a third or fourth wide receiver at this point, but depending on the situation he could be a nice piece to the offense.
The 49ers have already signed Torrey Smith and Jerome Simpson this offseason. The departure of Stevie Johnson and probably Michael Crabtree leaves them with the following wide receivers: