Since he was about to enter the NFL back in 2009, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has always been on the minds of Colts fans and their team's front office.
It's no secret that, back during the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, then-Colts president Bill Polian was very enamored with Nicks' playmaking ability, speed, and size. The Colts had just let all-world wide receiver Marvin Harrison go, and they were looking to load-up and make what would eventually be their final run at a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning as their quarterback.
It's always been said in league and media circles that Polian very much wanted to draft Nicks with Indy's 27th overall pick in 2009. Instead, the Colts chose University of Connecticut running back Donald Brown, who ended up becoming a disappointment in Indy for much of his career. If not for Brown's surprising production during the 2013 season, his tenure in Indy would have been labeled a bust.
Meanwhile, from 2009-2011, Hakeem Nicks was terrorizing defensive backs, scoring touchdowns, and helping the New York Giants win Super Bowl XLVI, which was (ironically) played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
That was then. Today, in the same week that the Colts allowed Donald Brown to leave the franchise via free agency and sign a three-year deal with the Chargers (and with former Polian protégé and current Chargers G.M. Tom Telesco), Indianapolis inked Nicks to a one-year deal.
It's interesting to speculate what might have happened if Polian had ended up drafting the player he truly coveted in 2009. With Nicks, might the Colts have defeated the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV? If so, Bill Polian and his son, then-general manager Chris Polian, might still be in charge of Indianapolis' front office. Peyton Manning might still be the Colts' quarterback, and Andrew Luck is likely taking snaps under center for the St. Louis Rams or the Washington team with that incredibly racist name.
Nicks signing with the Colts also re-unites with his former wide receivers coach from the University of North Carolina, Charlie Williams. Williams holds the same job in Indianapolis, and his presence on the Colts' coaching staff was a major factor in Nicks agreeing to play for Indy in 2014.