In Carl Nicks’ mind, he’s as good as gone.

The All-Pro guard avoided the franchise tag earlier this week and now he’s counting down the hours to free agency on Tuesday.

The New Orleans Saints have yet to make a contract offer to him.

In my mind, I pretty much am gone, to be honest,” Nicks said on WWL radio, according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Nicks’ goal is to become the highest-paid guard in the NFL. It’s very possible that he’s correct and he will not return to the Saints. But Triplett makes a good point. If the Saints have one offer – and only one offer to make – they’re going to do it when they know they have a chance of landing Nicks. Perhaps they’re waiting to see if the market isn’t quite what Nicks envisions for himself come Tuesday afternoon. In that case, maybe they could bring him back.

“They're gonna do something in the last four days that they haven't done in the last four weeks? I really don't think so,” Nicks said.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune