Chicago Bears: 5 players who will be gone after 2021 season

Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Akiem Hicks
Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Chicago Bears players who will be gone after 2021: Akiem Hicks

This one will hurt for Bears fans everywhere. But, Akiem Hicks isn’t getting any younger and his body continues to show signs of wearing down on him. Since 2018, Hicks hasn’t quite been the same guy.

Now entering the final year of his 4-year extension with the Bears, Hicks probably won’t be back for 2022 or beyond. There were even rumors of Chicago trying to trade Hicks this offseason, so it’s hard to believe they’re committed to him past this year. If he’s to make any more impact with Chicago, this is the year to do it.

The only way Hicks comes back to the Bears following this season is if he proves to be 100 percent healthy and dominant. He’s always been one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the league, so for him to stay, he’d need to have the best year of his career. We’re talking an All-Pro selection, here.

Even then, the Bears won’t be in a great financial position to be able to bring him back on a contract he’d deserve after that kind of performance in 2021. They are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place with Hicks, should he go out and dominate this year.

The Bears defense is much better with Hicks on the field, that’s for sure. However, next year they’ll likely be looking for a replacement, as much as fans will hate to see it.