Nicks, 28, was so excited about joining the Saints' offense this summer that he said he was texting coach Sean Payton each week. But the former New York Giants standout was inconsistent in practice and apparently didn't show enough for the Saints to keep him around.
Now Nicks might be running out of opportunities to get his career back on track.
"I think we felt deep enough right now with receivers, and we were looking to add a long-snapper, just to take some stress off [starter Justin Drescher]," Payton said.
The Saints were the first team to give Nicks a chance this offseason, as his career has stalled in recent years, partly because of injury.
Nicks caught just seven passes for 54 yards in six games last season after returning to the Giants in November. Before that, he spent the 2014 season with the Indianapolis Colts and the 2015 preseason with the Tennessee Titans.
Nicks (6-foot-1, 208 pounds) had a terrific start to his career as a first-round draft pick out of North Carolina in 2009. He had two 1,000-yard seasons in 2010 and '11 and won a Super Bowl with the Giants. He has 356 catches for 5,081 yards and 31 touchdowns in his career.
The Saints should be fine at receiver, although they are extremely young with Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, rookie Michael Thomas and Brandon Coleman as their top four receivers. None is older than 24.
In another transaction Monday, the Saints activated left tackle Terron Armstead from the physically unable to perform list.
Armstead, the outstanding young tackle who signed an extension worth $13 million per year this offseason, has been sidelined since the start of camp with an unspecified soft-tissue injury. Payton said Armstead won't play in Thursday's preseason opener at the New England Patriots.