By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver corps was severely depleted in the second half of the 2013 season.
On Friday, the franchise bought an insurance policy for this fall.
Former New York Giants star Hakeem Nicks agreed to a one-year deal reportedly worth $3.5 million plus incentives to become Andrew Luck's newest target.
"Hakeem is a big, tough and highly competitive wide receiver who knows what it takes to win," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. "His big-play potential requires attention from the defense every time he's out on the field. He adds another highly talented playmaker to our offense, and we are happy to announce he is now an Indianapolis Colt."
Nicks has average 14.9 yards per reception during his five-year NFL career, but injuries slowed him in the past two seasons.
In 2012, Nicks had 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns while playing in just 13 games because of foot and knee injuries. Last season, entering his contract year, Nicks caught 56 balls for 896 yards but failed to reach the end zone. He missed the final game of the season with an ankle injury.
The 25-year-old hoped to cash in on the open market but instead found himself needing to prove to teams he is healthy. He reportedly drew interest from the Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers before choosing Indianapolis.
Nicks has proven he can be productive in the NFL. He caught 79 passes for 1,052 yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns in 2010. A year later he caught 76 balls for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns during 15 regular-season games, adding 28 catches for 444 yards and four touchdowns in the postseason as the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium.
A first-round pick out of North Carolina in 2009, Nicks will be reunited with former Tar Heels wide receivers coach Charlie Williams with the Colts. Born in Charlotte, N.C., his hometown Panthers had been considered the favorite to land him before Indianapolis sealed the deal.