When your team goes 9-23 over the course of two seasons, there aren’t usually going to be many (if any) players worthy of a big-money contract extension.
Akiem Hicks just might be the exception to the rule.
Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, Patrick Finley reports that the Chicago Bears and defensive end Akiem Hicks are working to come together on a new deal. On Wednesday, Hicks spoke about the possibility of staying in Chicago long-term and even finishing his career in a Bears uniform.
Hicks’ play last season would certainly merit an extension. He was one of the few Bears players who started all 16 games, making the most of his playing time as he recorded career highs in tackles (36), sacks (7), and forced fumbles (2) for a defense that otherwise struggled on the line of scrimmage. All that production added up to Hicks earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 85.5, which put him as the 12th best interior defender in football. And at age 27, Hicks seems like the kind of player worth locking up for his remaining prime years.
(FWIW: Hicks was reportedly looking for about $10 million annually, but we’ll wait to see if any new information trickles out, before reexamining a potential deal).
This summer, Hicks parted ways with the agent who helped him into the NFL and eventually land in Chicago. Recently, Hicks signed super-agent Drew Rosenhaus to represent him to iron out a deal with the Bears – or possibly free agency if it was to get that far. For what it’s worth, Rosenhaus was spotted at Bears camp on Wednesday.
Is there a deal on the horizon? We’ll see…