Akiem Hicks breaks his silence, wants to retire a Bear

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For all of training camp and the preseason, Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks went radio silent when it came to talking with the media. The former Pro-Bowl lineman was present for most of camp, outside of one absence, and was an active participant throughout the summer. But through it all, Hicks declined to speak to the media. Until now.

Volunteering at the SOS Children’s Villages in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, Hicks spoke with Mark Grote of 670 The Score and explained his desire to not talk this summer.

“I know that there’s been talk about me not speaking for months at a time. Going into training camp, I think for me I’ve wanted to focus on the celebration of this moment in my career. No matter what I said, no matter how I phrased my intention on being a Bear for the rest of my career, that’s what I want, that’s what I feel is right for me. I’ve just had so many joy-filled moments as a Chicago Bear. I can’t see myself in another jersey. I think for me, less battle about contract situations and just enjoying this space.”

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Hicks told Grote he still intends to retire as a Bear.

“I think I’ll do everything in my power to do so,” he said.

The veteran lineman is in the final year of his contract and reports surfaced during camp he was looking for an extension, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.

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Hicks also said he’s not concerned about his contract status at the moment and is solely focused on football, according to Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun Times, who was also in attendance at the event.

“All that contract [stuff] goes away when you’re out there doing that thing you love,” Hicks said.

Judging by his performance on Sunday where he had three tackles and half a sack, he’s probably telling the truth.

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The 10-year veteran has been with the Bears since 2016 when he signed as a free agent. Hicks quickly became a fan favorite and signed a four-year, $48 million deal the next season, anchoring a formidable defensive line over the next few seasons. He had a career year in 2018, earning Pro-Bowl honors. Hicks has 225 total tackles, 28 sacks, and five forced fumbles in his time as a Bear.

The future is unknown for No. 96 and is turning 32 this fall. This very well may be his last year as a Bear, but there’s no denying his heart is in Chicago. If he keeps playing like he did on Sunday, a contract extension could become more of a reality.

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