Now that the Chicago Bears have taken care of Charles Leno Jr.’s extension, defensive end Akiem Hicks shouldn’t be too far behind right?
He wouldn’t be opposed:
“It’s a beautiful thing to be looked at as somebody you want to be a part of your team for a long time,” Hicks said while meeting with the media on Wednesday at Halas Hall. “I appreciate the interest in that category. and I would like to be a Bear for a long time.”
Hicks has been angling for a big payday all summer. He parted ways with the agent who helped bring him into the league (and eventually, the Bears) and signed with super-agent Drew Rosenhaus. He has maintained he would like to remain with the Bears and even offered up the idea of ending his career in Chicago. Hicks was reportedly looking to sign an extension during preseason, and was rumored to be seeking $10 million annually back in July. Earlier, we explored what a potential extension would look like based on similar players who have signed recent deals.
If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, Hicks will play out the year with free agency lurking on the horizon. And while a deal getting done sooner, rather than later would be ideal, Hicks seems OK facing the challenge of betting on himself.
“I think you’re always betting on yourself,” Hicks explained. “I think you’re always saying to yourself, ‘Man, I’m going to do really good this year. I’m going to get a million sacks and I’m going to get a million tackles, and I’m unstoppable.’ That’s the way you approach every year. I think if you come back from that and you start putting restrictions on yourself, then you’re not going to get what you ultimately want.”
Ultimately, both sides probably want to continue what has been a fine relationship by keeping one of the team’s best defenders under contract through his prime years.
For more from Hicks, you can watch his embedded press conference below: