TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached an agreement on Tuesday to sign former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks on a one-year deal worth up to $10 million, according to sources.
The Pro Bowl defensive lineman brings experience and more talent to the Buccaneers' defensive line that already includes former first-round pick Vita Vea, William Gholston and rookie second-round pick Logan Hall.
Hicks was the 89th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and was selected by NFC South rival the New Orleans Saints. He also had a brief spell with the New England Patriots but earned a Pro Bowl title during his time with the Chicago Bears after joining the team in 2016.
His most impressive campaign with the Bears came in 2017 where he logged eight and a half sacks and 15 tackles.
In total, Hicks recorded 31 sacks, 74 tackles for loss, 397 tackles, five fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles in 79 starts during his time in Chicago
Hicks was not one of the most influential players on the Chicago team last season as he dealt with injuries that only allowed him to play in nine games and only record three and a half sacks. He's also failed to get four or more sacks in the last three seasons.
The latest signing from the Buccaneers most likely puts the return of defensive lineman and free agent Ndamukong Suh in doubt.
Suh was a productive player for Tampa Bay in the last three seasons, including the Super Bowl 55 victory at Raymond James and had 14.5 sacks that same season.
If this does mark the end for the five-time Pro Bowler, the Buccaneers will most likely rely on Vea and Hicks to dominate the defensive line and help Hall develop his game.
Fans will get to see the new additions to the roster and the rest of the football team when they play their first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on Aug. 13.
The Buccaneers' first regular season game of the 2022 NFL season will be against the Dallas Cowboys at 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11 at AT&T Stadium. Their home opener is scheduled at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25 against the Green Bay Packers.
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