The Bucs have officially moved on from Ndamukong Suh. Tampa Bay replaced him in the starting lineup with the drafting of Logan Hall at the top of the second round. The Bucs replaced Suh’s veteran presence on the roster with the addition of veteran defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. The former Chicago Bear signed a one-year deal worth up to $10 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who broke the story.
It will be interesting to see what the contract breakdown is for the 6-foot-4, 335-pound Hicks, who has 40.5 career sacks. Suh made $9 million in each of the last two years in Tampa Bay.
Hicks, 32, began his career in New Orleans in 2012, notching 6.5 sacks in just over three years with the Saints. He recorded three sacks in 13 games with New England in 2015 before moving on to Chicago. Hicks had three straight years with at least seven sacks with the Bears, including his lone Pro Bowl season in 2018. That year he had 55 tackles and 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Hicks has battled injuries over the last three seasons, playing in just 29 games since 2019. He played in five games in 2019, 15 in 2020 and only nine last year. Hicks has recorded 3.5 sacks in each of the last two years.
With the Bucs not re-signing Suh or 36-year old veteran Steve McLendon, the team gets a bit younger at defensive tackle. Hicks also adds much needed experience, plus the versatility to play up and down the defensive line. He’s had experience playing in 3-4 schemes before in New England and also in Chicago.