Longtime Bears DE Akiem Hicks Takes Brutal Shot at Former Team

Akiem Hicks

Getty Akiem Hicks had some telling comments about his time with the Chicago Bears.

Akiem Hicks has spoken.

Less than a week after signing a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the former Chicago Bears Pro Bowl defensive lineman met with the media for the first time, and he had some telling comments about his time in the Windy City.

A third-round draft pick for the New Orleans Saints (89th overall) in 2012, Hicks spent his first three years with the Saints until he was traded to the New England Patriots three games into the 2015 season. He signed with the Bears in 2016, becoming an instant fan favorite for his hard-nosed play and boisterous leadership on the field.

He started 77 games for the Bears over his six seasons with the team, racking up 247 total tackles (51 for loss), 88 QB hits, 31.0 sacks, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in that span, per Pro Football Reference.

Now that he’s playing alongside Tom Brady again (they made it all the way to the AFC Championship game together with the Pats in 2015), the 32-year-old defensive end made it clear he couldn’t be happier about his change of scenery.

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Hicks: I had Brees & Brady ‘And Then I Went to Chicago’

“Something I’ve thought often is that when I came into the league, I had Drew Brees and Tom Brady as my first two quarterbacks. And then I went to Chicago — it wasn’t Drew Brees and Tom Brady,” Hicks said on June 7 to scattered laughter amongst those in attendance. “I feel spoiled. I feel spoiled to have somebody on the other side of the ball that can deliver all the time and he’s proven it over the years.”

His first year in Chicago, Hicks saw Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer all start during the regular season, when the Bears finished 3-13. The duo of Mike Glennon and then-rookie Mitch Trubisky led the way the following year, when Chicago finished 5-11. A 12-4 campaign turned out to be a fluke for Chicago in 2018, and after Trubisky didn’t pan out, the team brought in everyone from Nick Foles to Andy Dalton in an attempt to elevate the QB play, but nothing worked.

The Bears had just one winning season in Hicks’ six years there (2018, the same year he made the Pro Bowl) and the veteran D-lineman admitted he’s looking forward to having the kind of security blanket a quarterback like Brady provides, noting the signal-caller’s presence “was definitely a draw.”

“I would say it benefits a defense to have a quarterback who can control the clock, the ball and field position, and that’s what we have here,” Hicks noted.

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Hicks Says Bears Didn’t Try to Re-Sign Him

Hicks confirmed the obvious: He headed to the NFC South to play for the Bucs because they’re perennial contenders for a Super Bowl.

“One of the biggest things bringing me to Tampa is a chance to win,” Hicks added. “I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be back with Tom. I know with that quarterback position, you’ve always got a chance to win with a guy like that, so that was one of my reasons for being here. Also, all the weapons we have on defense.”

Hicks also noted that while other teams pursued him in free agency, the Bears weren’t one of them.

His time in the Windy City is clearly over, but many Bears fans and analysts will still be rooting for him to finally win a ring.

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