After releasing Kyle Fuller earlier tonight, the Bears are now looking to move on from another veteran defender. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Bears have given defensive lineman Akiem Hicks permission to seek a trade.
Hicks is entering the final year of a four-year, $48MM extension he signed with Chicago in 2017. The 31-year-old is set to earn $10.MM in 2021, and Biggs writes that the defensive lineman would want a “substantial raise” if he’s to be traded. Biggs also notes that the requested extension is “unlikely” to materialize.
Hicks spent the first three-plus seasons of his career with the Saints before getting traded to the Patriots in 2015. He joined the Bears on a two-year deal the following offseason, and he quickly established himself as a starter on Chicago’s defensive line. Hicks compiled 23 sacks for the Bears between the 2016 and 2018 seasons, earning a Pro Bowl nod during that latter campaign.
The veteran was limited to only five games in 2019 after suffering an elbow injury, but he managed to start all 15 of his appearances in 2020. He ultimately finished the campaign having collected 49 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 21 QB hits.
Following the signings of quarterback Andy Dalton and offensive lineman Germain Ifedi (and Allen Robinson‘s decision to opt for the franchise tender), the Bears have been looking for ways to carve out cap space. The team moved on from former All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller earlier today.
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