Nicks was relatively quiet on the first day of free agency with no reported meetings with teams during the initial flurry. One reporter is pegging him landing with the Panthers, however.
Just now on NFLN @rapsheet says most likely landing spot for Hakeem Nicks is Carolina Panthers.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 11, 2014
This isn't a guarantee, nor is it a report the sides are meeting -- but being the "most likely landing spot" isn't something we've heard about a priority free agent in Carolina for a long time. It's unclear if Nicks is a true No.1 receiver that can carry the load for an offense, but at worst he's a top tier second option on a team in dire need of weapons and far better than anything the team currently has.
The true hammer will drop when Smith is traded or released, which will happen soon. From there the offense needs to find a left tackle who can protect Cam Newton better than Byron Bell and more receivers to round out the team.