3 Players the Chicago Bears could trade during the 2021 NFL Draft
By Joseph Herff
Chicago Bears Draft: Akiem Hicks, Defensive Lineman
One of the longest-tenured Bears currently on the roster, Akiem Hicks may be seeing his last defensive snaps in Chicago. Hicks already only has one year left on his contract and is due a hefty amount of money this upcoming season. Moving him would save them around $10.5 million.
After bouncing around to start his career, Hicks found a home in Chicago in 2016. Since then, he has been a menace on the Bears’ defensive line creating havoc stopping the run and rushing the passer. He racked up over seven sacks in three straight seasons from 2016 to 2018 finally earning Pro Bowl honors in 2018. Since then though, Hicks has struggled to stay healthy. He missed 11 games in 2019 and played oft-injured in 2020.
Hicks is aging as he will turn 32 in the middle of next season and he looks to be slowing down a bit. With Eddie Goldman coming back from his COVID-19 opt-out and Bilal Nichols showing plenty of promise, Hicks may be expendable at this point and frankly a cap casualty. The Bears also have nice depth on their defensive line with Mario Edwards Jr. and Angelo Blackson.
Hicks could get a nice return given his abilities, but his recent injuries and cap hit may lower his value. The Bears would be lucky to get a fourth-round pick for the veteran defensive lineman.