The Buccaneers and Carl Nicks are "mutually" parting ways, and according to the press release, which quotes Nicks as saying he's going to "step away from the game," it sure sounds like the guard is done with football. A MRSA infection will do that to you.
Nicks was one of three Bucs players to contract MRSA, a potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant strain of staph infection, during an outbreak at the Bucs' training facilities last year. He underwent surgery in an attempt to remove it, and as of April, still wasn't close to being recovered.
Nicks and the Bucs have reached an "amicable settlement," presumably entailing some money changing hands to account for the three years and 20-plus million remaining on his deal. (And, we assume, Nicks is giving up his right to file suit.)
From our point of view, Nicks is a victim here. His career is ended because of, at worst, substandard practices and at best, an act of god. And the Bucs definitely went out of their way to cover their asses:
Re: Nicks, $6m of his $7m due in '14 was gtd for injury. But remember, he was never IR'd last year. That would've been admitting liability.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 25, 2014
But maybe you think a 29-year-old forced into early retirement by a debilitating disease that could leave him with lifelong complications isn't a sad story. Maybe you view it through a different lens. A particularly pro-management lens:
Buccaneers paid Carl Nicks $25 million for nine games http://t.co/jkv0REcFDr
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 25, 2014
Don't forget the chance of necrotizing fasciitis! Must've been part of his signing bonus.
The football career of Lawrence Tynes, who was also infected with MRSA and filed a grievance against the Buccaneers, appears to be over. The third infected player, second-year corner Johnthan Banks, is expected to compete for a starting job.