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Akiem Haicks will be a free agent in 2022, which will attract a lot of interest on the market. A number of teams are looking for someone who can be a strong presence in the locker area and help limit the run. The Chicago Bears veteran checks all of those boxes.
The Bears are expected to be a much better team next season, which isn’t that hard to think after parting ways with Matt Nagy. But they’ll need to keep their defensive unit together in order to do so, and that includes re-signing Hicks.
Hicks isn’t the youngest player in his position testing free agency but he’s certainly one of the most accomplished. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how his future could look like:
Akiem Haicks 2022 free agent
Akiem HicksOver the past six to seven seasons, he has been one the most consistent pass-rushers for the NFL. Nonetheless, he’s not getting any younger and at 32 years old, he may not get as much money as he’d like in the offseason. As of now, he could be looking for a two-year deal that is worth nearly $14 million.
The Baltimore Ravens were again affected by injuries, tough luck and poor performance at key moments. But they’re still one of the teams to beat in the AFC. They need to add more offensive firepower but can’t let their defense plummet either.
Harbaugh’s team is looking at losing Calais CampbellIn the offseason. They could have addressed that loss in the draft, but they would rather pursue a 32-year old in the backend of their careers. But they want to win now and compete. They don’t have any time to lose.
Even though Hicks is expected to become a free agent and test the waters, that doesn’t mean that he can’t come back to the Chicago Bears. They’re excited about their new project and Justin FieldsAfter a disappointing rookie season, is expected to make a big leap forward.
Akiem Hickey is one of the FAs I believe the Bears should consider signing… What do you think, Akiem? #Bears #BearDown #NFL https://t.co/iFrDAix3a9
With that in mind, the Bears just can’t afford to break up their physical, tough defensive unit. Hicks has been a crucial part of their defense success over the past six or more years. There could be some financial hurdles but they’re confident they can work things out.
Some believe that Akiem Hicks’ free agency will end in Las Vegas. Josh McDaniels’ Raiders already have two top-notch players at his position in Yannick NgakoueAnd Maxx CrosbyThey are still in need of some assistance in the interior of their defensive lines.
While he’s not getting any younger and may need to catch a breather every now and then, he’d be a key improvement in terms of stopping the run. The Raiders have plenty of money and are looking for another pass-rusher.
Akiem Hicks and the Los Angeles Chargers share obvious ties. For starters, Hicks already thrived under Brandon Staley’s tutelage, as he served as the outside linebackers coach for the Bears. The Chargers are the most desperate playoff-hopeful team in need of a defensive overhaul.
The Chargers have almost $60 million in cap space, so they could easily outbid other teams for his services. Hicks could help them limit the big plays in their running game and also serve as a mentor to a young team.
Even though they didn’t get the credit they deserved, the Buffalo Bills actually had one of the best, most balanced defenses in the league last season. But they could lose both Mario AddisonAnd Jerry HughesThey could also be affected by the offseason, which could prove to be a huge blow.
Hughes could even consider retiring at age 33. Hicks could be the perfect replacement. He’d get the chance to play for a contender towards the end of his career and pursue that Super Bowl ring. However, the Bills will need some moves to get below the cap to sign him.