Among many important decisions the Chicago Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace has to make this offseason, two of the biggest decisions, are these. Number one is obvious — who starts at quarterback? The other is does he trade any of his high-salaried defensive stars?
The latter question is on the table because the Bears have a very tight cap space problem. The player getting the most chatter about being traded is Akiem Hicks. However, trading him would be almost as big a mistake for the Bears as was their disastrous season-ending press conference. Here are some reasons why this is the case.
The Chicago Bears rely too much on Akiem Hicks to trade him
The key to the Bears having a dominant defense has been their capacity to game after game after game make an offense one-dimensional by stopping a team’s run game. In 2018, they were a scary defense because they combined this with creating lots of turnovers. Once Vic Fangio left Chicago, the high turnover rate also left the Bears. However, the Bears’ dominant run defense stayed intact.
That was until Akiem had to leave their Week 10 game this season against the Vikings. This is when he pulled a hamstring. Once out due to the injury, the Bears no longer had a dominant run defense even after he returned to play against the Lions four weeks later. If you are okay with the Bears no longer having one of the best, if not the best, run-stopping defenses in the NFL, then most certainly trade away Akiem Hicks.