Hakeem Nicks to the San Francisco 49ers?

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers

It is evident that the San Francisco 49ers need wide receiver help. Rumors emerged that the 49ers were interested in trading for wide receiver Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants. San Francisco was also linked to wide out Josh Gordon who plays for the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns and Giants have said they are not actively shopping their young talented wide receivers. But that does not mean they are not listening to offers. The 49ers are well aware of this fact.

Between both wide receivers, Nicks probably has the better upside between the two, considering Gordon has off the field issues. Another strike, and Gordon can be suspended for a lengthy period of time. That narrows it down to an obvious decision for the 49ers.

Trade for Hakeem Nicks.

Nicks is only 25 years old and is still in his rookie contract. He will be seeking big money when he becomes a free agent after this season. The 49ers probably do not want to trade for someone who is not willing to agree to terms on a new deal (prior to the trade).

But why not?

If the 49ers acquire Nicks from the Giants at the trade deadline (October 29), they will owe him roughly $1.4 million for the remainder of the season, based on his $2.7 million annual salary. That is a relatively cheap price tag for the caliber type of player Nicks is.

Granted, some experts may ask why give up a draft pick for a temporary rental? First, Nicks may agree to a long term deal with the 49ers, which would be very beneficial for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Second, wide receiver Michael Crabtree is coming off of a major injury and nobody knows how he will perform when he gets back. Crabtree is a good talent, but right now Nicks is the better option.

If Nicks would agree on a long term deal, then send the Giants a second round draft pick, maybe even another late rounder. If he does not agree on a new deal with the 49ers, negotiate and send a 5th or 6th round pick. It appears the Giants are content to let him walk after the season and any sort of compensation would be beneficial to New York.

Just ask the Baltimore Ravens what pick they received for wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh was pretty optimistic about getting wide receiver Mario Manningham back at practice this week. Well, Manningham may be back at practice, but he told reporters that he will “ease” his way back to playing football. That could be 4-6 weeks from now, maybe longer, who knows?

It is obvious that Manningham is not football ready, he may never be this year. Why take a risk when you have a young talented receiver who could come in and help take pressure off of the run game and Kaepernick? It appears to be a no brainer, does it not?

Wide receiver Kyle Williams was not a force to reckon with prior to his ACL injury, so why did the 49ers feel he would be a solid number two on the depth chart after he came back from major knee surgery? If you recall, there was a “buzz” about Willams during training camp and most experts were on his bandwagon.

The same concept can be used for Manningham.

Kaepernick deserves great talent around him and beside for Boldin, there is not much there at the receiver position. Talents like Nicks do not come around often and this could be a great opportunity for the 49ers to get over the “hump” and become a team who can beat you with the run or pass.

For his career Nicks has 280 receptions for 4,168 yards (14.9 avg) and 27 touchdowns. Those numbers are better than Crabtree’s yet alone Manningham’s. More importantly, Nicks seems to be a locker room guy, he wants the ball in pivotal situations but would never put himself before the team.

Now that sounds like a Harbaugh guy, right?

General manager Trent Baalke cherishes draft picks and he should. But, the 49ers have 13 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. This talented roster does not have 13 spots vacant. Simple math tells you that a trade would actually be beneficial in this scenario.

The 49ers can have the following lineup to make a push for the Super Bowl:

QB: Colin Kaepernick

FB: Bruce Miller

RB: Frank Gore

WR: Hakeem Nicks

WR: Anquan Boldin

TE: Vernon Davis

WR: Michael Crabtree (if healthy)

WR: Kyle Williams

WR: Quinton Patton

**with arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.

What would opposing defenses do? If they load up the box to stop the run, the outside receivers can beat single coverage. If defenses decide to take away Vernon Davis and Hakeem Nicks, then Frank Gore would have a field day. The missing piece to this offense is a legitimate outside threat.

The San Francisco 49ers should make the trade.

Shakeel Khan is a San Francisco 49ers writer for Pro Football Central


  1. I don’t disagree about trading for Nicks, although a 2nd rounder may be high. The team might be willing to overpay because it has so many picks in the upcoming draft. However, you seem to dismiss KW as if he has done something wrong or has failed to get open. Neither is the case. Given, he is unspectacular as a returner, but if you watch for his routes, he has repeatedly broken free – only to have Kaep zero in on 81 or 85 and force the ball in, whether they’re open or not. Nicks or a healthy Crabs may well force Kaep to look to someone besides Boldin and Davis, which would make the passing attack explode … but don’t blame KW. He’s getting open a fair amount of the time.

  2. ivan_drago81 says

    Go get him !!!!

  3. LarryCoffield says

    Nicks is, as Crabs, is an elite player.I don’t believe the 49ers will pay either the elephant bucks required for a long term sign .After that low-budget charade with 13 reasons saying they would rather lose than spend for a threat, I’m sure they would rather skimp and gamble..
    Still, nice happy talk, maybe tomorrow we can chat about Seymour coming here.