Carl Nicks

Carl Nicks, Buccaneers Part Ways

AUGUST 5: The Bucs agreed to pay Nicks $3MM as part of their settlement, reports Field Yates of

JULY 25: The Buccaneers and veteran offensive lineman Carl Nicks have agreed to “mutually part ways,” confirms Scott Smith of (via Twitter). Jay Glazer of FOX Sports first reported the news, tweeting that the two sides reached an agreement on an “amicable settlement.”

“I’d like to thank the Buccaneers organization for working with me as I have attempted to get myself back on the football field,” Nicks said on a statement. “However, after careful consideration, I have made the decision to step away from the game. This was by no means an easy decision, but I believe that is what is bet for me and my family as well as the Buccaneers.”

While Nicks’ comments don’t suggest he’s officially retiring quite yet, it sounds like health issues will at least force him to sit out the 2014 season. The big guard has been hampered by foot and toe issues over the last two years, and was limited to seven games in 2012 and just two in 2013.

Those health issues arose after the Bucs signed Nicks to a five-year, $47.5MM in 2012, snatching him away from the Saints in free agency. The deal included $25MM in guaranteed money, so perhaps part of the “amicable settlement” the two sides agreed to involved Nicks agreeing to repay some of that money, since he only appeared in nine games for the club. As Brian McIntyre observes (via Twitter), $6MM of Nicks’ $7MM base salary for this season was guaranteed for injury, so the settlement may also have been related to that figure.

With Nicks no longer in the picture, Jamon Meredith, Patrick Omameh, and Oniel Cousins are among the candidates to assume the starting left guard job for the coming season, though at least one of that group figures to start at the other guard spot.

NFC South Notes: Newton, Falcons, Bucs

Four paragraphs into an article about the Panthers’ Fan Fest, Charlotte Observer writer Joseph Person quotes Cam Newton, who admits his ankle isn’t fully healed yet: “I can’t stress enough that I’m not 100 percent yet. I’m treating it day in and day out.”

Here’s some more NFC South reading:

  • One of Newton’s newest blockers, 21-year-old rookie guard Trai Turner, is drawing early praise, according to the Observer’s Jonathan Jones, who quotes veteran center Ryan Kalil: “He’s so young and he’s doing such a good job.”
  • Falcons head coach Mike Smith was interviewed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Orlando Ledbetter. Smith said there will be competition at the Falcons’ free safety spot, but veteran Dwight Lowery is the starter to begin training camp. As for the nickel back job, Robert McClain, Josh Wilson, Javier Arenas and Ricardo Allen are vying for reps.
  • Buccaneers new head man Lovie Smith isn’t deviating from the coaching philosophy and roster structure that sustained him for nine years in Chicago. He’s hand-picked his game managing quarterback in Josh McCown, writes Chris Urso of the Tampa Tribune: “The Bucs don’t need a Drew Brees. Lovie Smith would settle for a Trent Dilfer, a Brad Johnson. The man went to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman at quarterback.” And on the defensive side of the ball, Smith has demanded players trim down in order to play fast and execute his Tampa 2 scheme, writes Alan Dell in the Bradenton Herald.
  • Jason Fitzgerald at gave his reaction to yesterday’s Carl Nicks news, saying, “The contract was a good example of the problems that can occur with the all cash salary cap model that is employed by Tampa Bay. Because all cash contracts contain no signing bonus it often leads to lower cash flows in the first year of the contract than awarded in more traditional NFL contracts. The players also receive no “dead money” protection in the contract. These factors lead to teams overpaying for talent and guaranteeing large portions of the contract. Nicks received a ridiculous $25 million in fully guaranteed salary upon signing, an unheard of total for a guard. $31 million of the contract was guaranteed for injury.” Ultimately, the Buccaneers payed Nicks $25MM for nine games of work.

Extra Points: McClain, Nicks, White, Johnson

Recently-acquired linebacker Rolando McClain is expected to make his team debut at the Cowboys walkthrough on Saturday. McClain was tardy because he was in court in Alabama, where he was found guilty of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct stemming from an April 2013 incident (via John Breech of The 25-year-old has been sentenced to 18 days in jail, but his lawyers have filed an appeal.

According to’s Todd Archer, the Cowboys were aware of the trial when they acquired the 25-year-old from the Ravens earlier this month. Even with a potential jail sentence, the team’s executive vice president didn’t sound overly concerned.

“We’ve got to learn a little more about it, but I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to keep him from playing,” Stephen Jones said.

“I had a great visit with (Ravens general manager) Ozzie (Newsome), very comfortable with what he’s been through. That’s why we decided to make the decision we did.”

Let’s look at some assorted notes on this Friday evening…

  • Following the release of guard Carl Nicks,’s Pat Yasinskas writes that the Buccaneers are in rough shape at the position. The team currently has Patrick Omameh, Oniel CousinsJamon Meredith and rookie Kadeem Edwards competing for the starting left guard gig and Yasinskas guesses that the team will be monitoring the waiver wire for additional depth.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap points out (via Twitter) that Nicks will count $2.357MM against the Buccaneers cap in 2014 and $4.714MM in 2015.
  • The Falcons extended wideout Roddy White yesterday and the veteran reiterated that he always wanted to stay in Atlanta. “There is where I always wanted to be,” White said (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). “You hardly ever see players nowadays being with a team this long, so it was important to me to get the deal done. When we got it done, I was so happy that I’m going to be here for the next couple of years. Hopefully we can go out there and win a Super Bowl.”
  • The Falcons waived wideout Darius Johnson earlier today, and’s Vaughn McClure tweets that the player had “had enough” with football and intends on coaching at his alma mater, SMU.

NFC Links: Giants, Bucs, Eagles, Mathieu

After rounding up a few odds and ends from out of the AFC earlier today, let’s shift our focus to the league’s other conference, and check out the latest from around the NFC….

NFC Notes: Jones, Rams, Cowboys, Nicks

In a video interview with, Falcons receiver Julio Jones said he expects to sign a long-term contract extension before his rookie deal runs out. “I will not get to free agency,” said Jones. “They gave up a lot for me and they know how hard I work. They’re not going to let me go. And I love Atlanta, I love being here.” Jones also says teammate Roddy White, a free agent next year, wants to be in Atlanta three more years.

Here’s a few more NFC notes:

  • The Rams boast the league’s best front seven, while the Cowboys’ is the worst, according to Mike Tanier of Sports On Earth. On the Rams’ burgeoning front four (excluding first-round pick Aaron Donald), in particular, Tanier says, “Think of the Rams defensive line as starting each game with four three-and-outs that leave the opponent punting from about the 22-yard line, and you get a sense of their impact.”
  • Meanwhile, “The Cowboys lost DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and (in the saddest, most ridiculous minicamp story of the year) Sean Lee from a defense that allowed 2,056 rushing yards and recorded just 36 sacks last year,” writes Tanier.Henry Melton arrives as a younger, more system-suited replacement for Hatcher, but everything else is a shambles. Bruce Carter, Justin Durant and DeVonte Holloman form the most anonymous linebacker corps in the league…And of course, the Cowboys are so cap-stressed that they wouldn’t be able to sign a veteran reinforcement, even if one becomes available this late in the offseason.”
  • Buccaneers veteran guard Carl Nicks‘ health status remains a question mark, writes ESPN’s Pat Yasinkas: “Nicks, who missed almost all of last season with a toe injury and a MRSA infection, previously has said he expects to be ready for training camp. But it remains to be seen if he still is on target. The team has been quiet about Nicks’ status.”
  • Seahawks pass rusher Bruce Irvin (hip) and running back Robert Turbin (knee) had off-season surgery, reports Bob Condotta in the Seattle Times.
  • The 49ers have approximately $6.4MM in cap space, probably enough to “extend a vet and have an emergency stash for the season,” according to ESPN’s Bill Williamson (via Twitter).