According to Schwartz, "Andrew Luck now gets to play catch with Nicks, who received a one-year contract worth $3.5 million, with incentives that can inflate the value of the deal by as much as $2 million. That’s not exactly a king’s ransom for a player who is only 26 years old, had back-to-back seasons of 1,000 receiving yards, has 27 career touchdown catches and not long ago was considered among the elite players at his position in the league."
The low base salary for Nicks' contract confirms what many had suspected, that the market for the receiver was incredibly soft in free agency. At one time, the former North Carolina Tar Heel was considered one of the top receivers in the NFL, but his stock has fallen dramatically in the past two years.
Even though Nicks scuffled through an injury-plagued 2012, with foot and knee problems; this season he was relatively healthy. But the soon-to-be free agent appeared, at times, to be playing it cautious this season in a possible attempt to remain injury free before hitting the open market. Nicks concluded the 2013 season with 56 catches for 896 yards and zero touchdowns; statistics that apparently did not impress potentials suitors on the free agent market.
In addition to his lack of production, much speculation surrounded the receiver's inactive status for an important game against the Dallas Cowboys in late November. Nicks and Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin gave conflicting reports to the media about his absence; reports that highlighted the simmering feud between the parties that began with the receiver skipping organized team activities (OTAs) in May 2013.
At that time, it became apparent that Nicks not only declined to take part in the voluntary activities; he also failed to inform his head coach that he was not coming.
In the end, it appears that New York believes it can replace Nick's production on the field and likely was happy to get rid of his attitude off the field in the process. It also appears unlikely that the G-men even offered a contract to the fifth-year player.