According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bears main concern for this NFL season has already been taken care of. Akiem Hicks has been locked up for the next four seasons.
Both Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport report that the deal will be a four-year contract, worth $48 million. According to the reports, $30 million of that contract will be guaranteed to Hicks upon signing.
This, I would assume, had to be the Bears biggest priority this season. Hicks has been the rock of that defensive line for a while now, and he deserved to get the big bucks like this.
This move wasn’t similar to the Aaron Donald move reported earlier today, in the fact that it shouldn’t affect the Bears’ day-to-day operations moving forward. Unlike Donald, Hicks was not holding out for a new contract, and will still be available to play Week 1 against Atlanta.
At $12 million average annual value, Hicks’ reported contract will place him tied for seventh among highest paid defensive ends in the NFL, according to Spotrac, trailing only Muhammad Wilkerson, Olivier Vernon, J.J. Watt, Jason Pierre-Paul, Calais Campbell, Everson Griffin, and Stephon Tuitt, who was also extended earlier today.
Hicks finished with seven sacks last season after signing a 2-year deal with the Bears from the New England Patriots. That tied him for second most on the team, trailing only Willie Young in that regard. The 5-year veteran has played for the New Orleans Saints along with the Pats and Bears and has 194 total tackles to his name entering the 2017 season.
Hicks will be the starting left end as the Bears take on the Falcons tomorrow afternoon from Soldier Field. Congratulations to Akiem Hicks on his extension!