Fans of the Minnesota Vikings are familiar with the work of former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks — and many are taking to the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to recruit the veteran.
Hicks 33, spent six seasons with the Bears, from 2016-2021, making the Pro Bowl in 2018. He is currently a free agent after spending a lone season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022, and he went on X to acknowledge the love he has been receiving from Skol Nation recently.
“That Viking love has been nice all day, I appreciate the interest. Always had fun strappin it on against you. As a competitor you hope to receive the respect of your opponent. The respect of the fan base is a very nice bonus,” Hicks wrote on X.
There’s a Good Reason Vikings Fans Want Akiem Hicks
Hicks always did particularly well against Minnesota. In the nine games he played against the Vikings while with the Bears, Hicks amassed an impressive 8.5 sacks, 14 tackles-for-loss and 21 quarterback hits (stats via Pro Football Reference).
Hicks had 31 sacks in his tenure with Chicago, and nearly 30% of them came against Vikings quarterbacks. Naturally, fans of the Vikes wouldn’t mind being on the other side, with some making pleas to Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to bring the savvy vet to town.
“Kwesi … Get this dude into the twin cities tomorrow,” one fan wrote.
“If Akiem Hicks becomes a Viking, I will name my first born son after him,” another wrote.
“Akiem Hicks used to terrorize the Vikings iOL (shocking to no one) and Kirk Cousins … bring him to Minnesota asap” added another.
Others just brought memes:
And, to be fair, there were several Bears fans in the mix hoping for a reunion, as well:
Akiem Hicks Was & Is Beloved By Bears Fans
The 6-foot-4, 335-pound defensive end began his career in New Orleans with the Saints, where he spent over three years before getting traded to the New England Patriots during the 2015 season. He played in New England for 13 games before signing with Chicago the following year.
Hicks was easily one of the best free agent signings of former Bears general manager Ryan Pace’s tenure, and he endeared himself to Bears fans in a hurry with his tenacious play and fun personality:
Over his six seasons in the Windy City, Hicks started 77 games and accumulated 247 total tackles (51 for loss), 88 QB hits, five forced fumbles, eight passes defensed and 31.0 sacks.
He became a free agent after the 2021 season, as new Bears GM Ryan Poles chose not to re-sign him. He signed with the Buccaneers in 2022, and he admitted part of the reason he did so was the capable QB play the team had then in the form of Tom Brady, who later retired in February of 2023.
“Something I’ve thought of often is that when I came into the league I had Drew Brees and Tom Brady as my first two quarterbacks,” Hicks said in June of 2022, per the Buccaneers’ website. “And then I went to Chicago – it wasn’t Drew Brees and Tom Brady, let me say that, right? 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.”
During Hicks’ time in Chicago, quarterbacks such as Mitch Trubisky, Mike Glennon and Nick Foles were starting QBs, so it’s no wonder having stability at the position might matter to him.
It’ll be interesting to see if he lands anywhere soon — although Bears fans are surely hoping it’s not somewhere else in the NFC North.