The 2014 was a very interesting one for Colts wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, and it was one filled with a number of ups and downs.
From day one of training camp it was clear that the receiver wasn't quite on the same page with quarterback Andrew Luck. Early on, we thought it just needed time. But as the season started and Nicks continued to struggle, having absolutely no timing with Luck, it became a legitimate concern. When it started leading to interceptions (such as in the game against the Steelers), then it became time for the Colts to sit Nicks. He wasn't creating any separation and had zero timing with Andrew Luck.
As the season went on, however, Nicks began to see more playing time due to the injury and subsequent ineffectiveness of Reggie Wayne. While the team gave more playing time to rookie Donte Moncrief, Nicks was the guy who was asked to step in and fill more of the possession receiver type role and provide a veteran presence. And as Nicks saw more time and played more as the season went on, he started to look much better.
Ultimately, Nicks played in all 19 games for the Colts (including playoffs) and caught 44 passes for 503 yards and five touchdowns. As already noted, he improved as the year went on, and in the last six games he caught 20 passes for 260 yards and two scores, as opposed to just 24 catches for 243 yards and three touchdowns in the first 13 games combined.
So now we come to the question at hand, which is whether the Colts should re-sign Nicks or not. And as you might expect, there's not a clear-cut answer. Had you asked me the question halfway through the season, I would have said "absolutely not" to the question, but I'm much more open to it right now. On another low-risk deal like the one Nicks played under last year, it might not be a bad move to bring back Nicks in a similar role as he played in 2014, especially hoping that he would continue to show improved timing with Luck.
A lot of this probably depends on what Reggie Wayne decides to do as well. If he opts to come back, he'd likely shift into the role that Nicks filled in 2014 and that would leave no room for Nicks, instead leaving the Colts to look for a better option. If Wayne retires, however, it could be very feasible to bring Nicks back in a similar role and on a similar deal to provide some depth and consistency to their receiving core.
So much of this decision is likely impacted by other things that have yet to be figured out. What is certain is that it's a much tougher decision now than it was halfway through the season. I will say that I don't expect Hakeem Nicks to return to the Colts in 2015, but the question of whether he should or not is a hard one to answer.