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Colts take chance on free agent wide receiver Nicks

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The Canadian Press
3/14/2014 8:00:27 PM
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INDIANAPOLIS -- All Hakeem Nicks really wanted in free agency was a chance to resuscitate a once-promising career.

He was willing to play on a one-year deal, he was willing to work out a fair price and his only significant requirement was finding another star quarterback who could get him the ball.

On Friday, the former Giants receiver found his new team: Indianapolis.

"Hakeem is a big, tough, and highly competitive wide receiver who knows what it takes to win," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement issued by the team. "His big-play potential requires attention from the defence every time he's out on the field. He adds another highly talented playmaker to our offence."

Terms of the deal were not immediately available, though it is believed to be for one year.

Nicks was the Giants' first-round pick in 2009, and became an immediate contributor. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011 and was part of the Giants' Super Bowl-winning team following the 2011 season. But injuries sidetracked his career the past two seasons.

In 2012, Nicks was limited to just 53 catches, 692 yards and three touchdown catches in 13 games. The numbers were marginally better last season when played in 15 games. He finished with 56 catches and 896 yards but failed to score a touchdown.

The Colts believe if Nicks is healthy, he can help them.

The 26-year-old Nicks joins a receiving corps led by perennial Pro Bowl player Reggie Wayne, who is rehabilitating from a torn ACL, and emerging young star T.Y. Hilton. And, of course, Nicks will be catching passes from one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks in Andrew Luck.

Indy was in the market for another receiver after last year's free-agent flier on Darrius Heyward-Bey didn't work. And with Wayne trying to come back from his own injury, the Colts wanted another veteran to help mould a large group of young receivers.

Since joining the Colts in January 2012, Grigson has been unafraid to take some calculated gambles.

He traded a second-round pick to Miami for up-and-down cornerback Vontae Davis, a move that has panned out. Last year, he traded a first-round pick to Cleveland for running back Trent Richardson, a move that drew widespread scrutiny when Richardson didn't live up to the expectations of a top-five draft pick. He took a chance last year on receiver Darrius Heyward-Bye, a move that didn't work out, and he now has another injury prone former Giant to go along with running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who signed with Indy in June and re-signed this week.

Hakeem Nicks (Photo: Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
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