Nobody is more eager for the game against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers than offensive guard Carl Nicks who let his feelings known about why he left New Orleans for Tampa Bay in free agency.
Nicks was one of the major grabs for the Buccaneers during free agency when head coach Greg Schiano was looking to bring in a new presence for the offensive line. Nicks signed a 5-year, $47.5 million contract at the start of free agency when he and the Saints coundn’t come to terms.
A vital piece of the offense, speculation was that when negotiations were being done with quarterback Drew Brees during the offseason, Nicks would be the player the Saints would use the franchise tag on and pay Brees his huge contract.
The reverse happened however and on the eve of free agency, Brees was given the franchise tag and the club made a last minute push to offer Nicks a contract to stay.
In a conference call with local media, Nicks expressed that this was one thing that led to his departure was a lack of urgency on the team’s part and in the end he felt somewhat disrespected.
When the issue of money was brought up, Nicks wavered back and forth between saying that it was part of the issue, but that the Saints never made any attempts before free agency to strike a deal or treated him like he is now in Tampa Bay which is in a leadership role.
Nicks also waffled on why he really wants to play against the Saints. He at first said it was because he wants to play the team that “let him go.” He then said, “You can say I left or they sent me packing.”
Through the course of the call, it’s evident that Nicks is wanting to make a statement when the Saints come to Tampa Bay this Sunday and show them that they should have ponied up a long time ago to keep him.