Could the Bears have to part with a key contributor?
Before the pitchforks come out, please understand I am not advocating for Hicks’ release, only presenting potential savings. Akiem Hicks has been a dominant force for the Chicago Bears since signing with the team before the 2016 season.
He was limited to just five games, including three starts, last year, and 2021 will be his final year under contract. Hicks is set to make $12 million next year, but the Chicago Bears can cut him, carrying a dead cap of just $1.5 million.
Buster Skrine was brought in last offseason to replace Bryce Callahan, and he’ll be 31 when the 2020 season begins. He played in all 16 games, including four starts, last year, but recorded no interceptions and just five pass deflections.
Advanced stats reveal that he allowed a 59.3 completion percentage on 81 targets and a quarterback rating of 91.8. He’s projected to make $6.1 million next year but can be cut with a dead cap of $3.3 million.
The Bears have the talent in place to compete for a Super Bowl, but they will be limited by the sole production of the quarterback position. Several of the players mentioned above are role players and only that. As long as the general core is kept in place, there is always a chance to make a run at a title. You just have to hope it doesn’t end up similar to the Blackhawks with an aging roster, several bad contracts, and an average team that is neither good enough to compete nor bad enough to land the top draft pick.