AUGUST 5: The Bucs agreed to pay Nicks $3MM as part of their settlement, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com.
JULY 25: The Buccaneers and veteran offensive lineman Carl Nicks have agreed to “mutually part ways,” confirms Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (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.