When the days before the draft grow shorter, it’s a scary time for veteran free agents.
They have to weigh whether to take offers available before the draft, or run the risk of having those offers go away when teams find younger, perhaps better and certainly cheaper alternatives. It’s an expensive game of chicken, and often players will blink at the last minute.
The saying around the league is “get in where you fit in,” but with the 2015 NFL Draft in the books, a pair of veteran wideouts might be re-thinking their decisions.
Of course, Greg Jennings got a pretty lucrative deal from Miami, but both he and Tennessee’s Hakeem Nicks were promptly covered up by the end of the weekend.
When Jennings signed with the Dolphins, it seemed like good business (in addition to the two years and $8 million). Though they acquired Kenny Stills in trade to go with emerging Jarvis Landry, there seemed to still be a chance for him to have more of a role in the offense.
But when they used their first-rounder on Louisville’s DeVante Parker, Jennings became a rather expensive stable pony, a guy whose job will be to mentor young players moreso than catch flying things.
When Nicks picked the Titans, it wasn’t for the same kind of money or fanfare, but it at least looked like he had a chance to contribute behind Kendall Wright and Harry Douglas and Justin Hunter.
But then the Titans used a second-rounder on boom-or-bust Dorial Green-Beckham and a seventh on intriguing project Tre McBride, the depth chart became really crowded.
Nicks didn’t have the same kind of interest in the market as Jennings (who also visited the Saints, Panthers and Jaguars), but it became a lot harder for him to resurrect his career this weekend.
Now he might have to wait for the next crack at free agency to find a team willing to throw the ball to him, a chance that may come as soon as August.