The Buccaneers and free agent guard Carl Nicks have agreed to terms on a new contract for the Pro Bowl guard that will make him the highest paid player at his position in the league.
The Buccaneers added another top free agent this morning coming to terms with free agent Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks. The deal is for five years and believed to be worth $47.5 million with $31 million guaranteed.
Nicks, 27 is arguably the best guard in the NFL and was thought to be one of the most sought after free agents on the market, but it was clear from the 4 p.m. opening bell of free agency that Nicks was one of Tampa Bay’s top targets, and it appeared the Buccaneers weren't planning on letting Nicks leave without a signed contract. Nicks arrived in Tampa last night, and the two sides worked into the morning hours in hammering out the contract that was announced this morning.
The Pro Bowler has started 61 of 64 NFL games he’s played in and hasn’t missed a start in the last three years. The 6-foot-5, 343-pound Nicks should look great at left guard opposite fellow Pro Bowler Davin Joseph and would allow the Bucs to establish an interior power running game.
While it is great to upgrade the offensive line and steal a great player from a division rival like the Saints, Tampa Bay will have to pay two guards contracts totaling more than $100 million as Joseph signed a seven-year, $53-million deal in August and Nicks was seeking a deal that would pay him slightly more than that. Nicks was thought to also be seeking a deal worth more than Saints teammate Jahri Evans who signed a 7-year $56.7 million deal in 2010.
Despite re-signing Jeremy Zuttah to a four-year deal worth over $12 million last week, Bucs could have an opening at left guard as Zuttah is expected to either compete with Jeff Faine at center if Tampa Bay sign Nicks, or Faine could be released outright to pave the way for Zuttah to become Josh Freeman’s snapper.
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