Chicago Bears Akiem Hicks signs with Tampa Bay on one-year deal

Chicago Bears - Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /

After a career with the Chicago Bears in which Akiem Hicks was a fan favorite, the Bears ended up not re-signing the 32-year-old defensive lineman.

Now, Akiem Hicks joins the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year deal worth up to $10M.

Akiem Hicks signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year deal

In Hicks’ six-year stint with the Bears, he was a 1x Pro Bowl selection, and his presence was key in the Bears’ 2018 season, in which the defense was atop the league in most stats.

Though Akiem Hicks’ production tailed off in his last couple of seasons, it was apparent when Hicks was on the field.

In 77 games, Hicks accounted for 246 total tackles (175 solos, 72 assisted), 31.5 sacks, eight passes defended, five forced fumbles, and four fumble returns.

For someone that played less than 100 games with the franchise, his name will be one that brings Chicago Bears fans more fond memories than not.

Akiem Hicks embodied what it meant to be a Chicago Bear, and the impact Hicks made on the Bears’ community was one that not many can say they’ve done.

In a press conference last December, Akiem Hicks was faced with questions regarding the fact that this could be his final season with the Chicago Bears, and it was evident that this wasn’t easy for Hicks.

"“The unfortunate reality of our business, no matter what you do, no matter what position you put yourself in, all good things come to an end. That is the circumstance we find ourselves in.” – Akiem Hicks on potential last season with the Chicago Bears"

Time and time again, fan bases attach themselves to a fan favorite – Akiem Hicks to the Chicago Bears in this case – and when it’s time for that fan favorite to move on, it’s more emotional.

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That said, Hicks only played 29 games in the last three seasons (~9 games per season), and for the new regime that took over, there was a decision that had to be made, and that decision was to let Akiem Hicks continue his NFL journey with a new organization.

Akiem Hicks is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, and even though he’s in the NFC with the Bears, there’s no doubt that fans will be chanting his name the next time Hicks is in Soldier Field.