Free-agent guard Carl Nicks has long been on the wish list of Dallas Cowboys fans. The Washington Redskins could use him too, as they look to shore up their offensive line in front of what will be a high-priced rookie quarterback. So if you're wondering what Nicks is going to cost in free agency, we have the answer. Well, we have Nicks' answer, courtesy of an interview he gave on WWL radio in New Orleans:
On his contract demands:
“I plan to be the highest paid guard in the NFL. You can take that whatever kinda way but that’s my goal, so…more than Logan Mankins got I guess.”
On if he feels he’s earned that:
“Absolutely. I mean I don’t wanna sound cocky or anything but I busted my butt for four years, I made a couple Pro Bowls. For my first three years I was the lowest paid guard of all the starting guard in the NFL. And I never complained, I never held out, I came in early to sign my tender when no one else was doing that. I’ve been dedicated to the team and I’ve proven my stats speak for itself. I just feel like I should get paid what I deserve.”
In case you're wondering, the contract Mankins signed with the Patriots last year was $51 million for six years with a $20 million signing bonus. So if you want Nicks, you need to know he's looking for more than $8.5 million a year. Too much to spend on a guard? Well, the Patriots didn't think so, and as a result neither does the best guard on this year's free-agent market. Will the Cowboys pay that much, given their many needs on defense? Will the Redskins pay that much, given their needs at wide receiver, in the secondary and the money they'll have to spend to sign Robert Griffin III after they draft him with the No. 2 pick?
For me, that's too much for a guard. I think you can find guards cheaper, late in the draft if need be. But odds are that somebody's going to pay it, and Nicks is a stud. Personally, I think the NFC East's guard-needy teams would do well to stay away if that's the neighborhood in which Nicks is going to get paid. But nobody's asking me.