There is some good news for Chicago Bears fans — the team is reportedly expected to retain defensive lineman Akiem Hicks.
Things have not been going well for Chicago Bears fans at the start of this new league year.
The team could not find a way to pry Russell Wilson away from the Seattle Seahawks and settled on signing former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to start in 2021.
Then on Saturday, the Bears released top cornerback Kyle Fuller and saw him quickly sign with the Denver Broncos. Things might be bleak for Bears fans, but there is some good news.
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears are expected to retain defensive lineman Akiem Hicks after allowing him to pursue a trade on Thursday.
Bears: Akiem Hicks expected to remain in Chicago
The Bears opted to make the tremendous sacrifice of releasing Fuller for the purpose of freeing up $11 million in cap space. If Chicago were to trade Hicks elsewhere, they would have accumulated an additional $10.5 million in cap space. But based off this report, the Bears are deciding to keep the defensive line group intact.
Hicks joined the Bears back in 2016 on a two-year contract and played his way to a four-year, $48 million deal by the 2018 season. That season, Hicks earned himself a Pro Bowl nomination for his 55 tackle and 7.5 sack performance that year. But in 2019, Hicks was limited to just five games due to an elbow injury.
Through 15 games this past season, Hicks recorded 49 total tackles (seven for loss), 3.5 sacks, one defended pass and one fumble recovery. Additionally, Hicks recorded 29 pressures, 16 knockdowns and nine hurries against the quarterback, per Pro Football Reference.
The Bears did give Hicks the option to pursue a trade to a new team, but it appears they are more than happy to keep him for the final year of his deal.