Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 3/12/12

After he and the Saints failed to come to terms on a long-term contract, Carl Nicks will be one of the top prospects on the free agent circuit.

And, if he has his way, a very, very wealthy man.

In an interview with WWL New Orleans (via SportsRadioInterviews.com), Nicks once again stated his desire to become the NFL’s highest-paid guard, surpassing the six-year, $51 million contract ($30 million in guarantees) Logan Mankins signed last August.

“I plan to be the highest paid guard in the NFL,” Nicks said. “You can take that whatever kinda way but that’s my goal, so…more than Logan Mankins got I guess.”

Does Nicks, a fifth-year player, believe he’s earned such a deal?

“Absolutely. I mean I don’t wanna sound cocky or anything but I busted my butt for four years, I made a couple Pro Bowls. For my first three years I was the lowest paid guard of all the starting guard in the NFL. And I never complained, I never held out, I came in early to sign my tender when no one else was doing that. I’ve been dedicated to the team and I’ve proven my stats speak for itself. I just feel like I should get paid what I deserve.”

Nicks revealed that the Saints only “briefly” contacted his agent during February’s Scouting Combine, and, with things remaining status quo, he’s “absolutely prepared” to move on.

“At this point … I’m absolutely prepared. I mean, what can you do? If a team acts like they don’t want you then the only thing you can do is leave.”

While it may not be the best way to go about it, Nicks is absolutely justified in his stance, as he’s worked his way up from a fifth-round pick in 2008 to a two-time All-Pro today.

With the market not at all saturated with interior lineman, Nicks is a premier player that sticks out like a sore thumb for cap-flush teams in need of an upgrade to their front-five.

The Saints should’ve never let it reach this point, but failing to sign Drew Brees to an extension ultimately doomed the club. They now stand to lose both Nicks and receiver Marques Colston in free agency.

Nicks is likely to get his wish — and soon — as the market opens for business in a little over 24 hours.

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