A year ago, receiver Hakeem Nicks appeared to be on track to be a major name in free agency — if the Giants didn’t sign him to a long-term deal and if they didn’t apply the franchise tag.
Neither has happened, for obvious reasons. Nicks had a horrible contract year with the Giants, and the Giants by all appearances are ready to move on.
And so the Panthers become an obvious alternative. Apart from the fact that Nicks hails from Charlotte and played at UNC, G.M. Dave Gettleman knows Nicks well. As one league insider explained it on Tuesday, perhaps too well.
Even though Gettleman has been gone from the Giants for more than a year, Gettleman has enough friends and former colleagues to know what happened last year in New York with Nicks. So for the same reasons the Giants apparently want to move on, Gettleman may never want Nicks to move in.
It’s not as if the Panthers don’t have a need at the position. They do, and if Gettleman doesn’t want Nicks, that could be the biggest red flag for any other team out there.