Akiem Hicks finally burying the hatchet with the Saints

John Sigler
·1 min read

Does Akiem Hicks still feel some animosity towards the team that drafted him? The Chicago Bears defensive lineman has kept a hefty chip on his shoulder over the years after being discarded in a trade with the Patriots, but he hasn’t kept the resentment going towards the New Orleans Saints after five years in Chicago.

“Do I appreciate how I was cast aside?” Hicks told Nathan Smith for ChicagoBears.com. “I wasn’t good enough to play for that team? No, I don’t appreciate those things. You never forget, but you can’t carry hate in your heart, you know what I’m saying? I would also say that, man, you just appreciate those moments. I wouldn’t say it loses its luster.”

A recent trip down memory lane — a highlight reel of Marques Colston’s biggest plays during his and Hicks’ time together in New Orleans — turned the big man sentimental, and he found himself catching up with an old friend in Saints captain Cameron Jordan. He’s also surrounded by other former Saints players, like nose tackle John Jenkins (drafted by the Saints a year after Hicks) and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., plus one-time superstar tight end Jimmy Graham. The group was assembled by Bears general manager and former Saints personnel man Ryan Pace.

So it’s just another game to him, now. In the past, Hicks has relished playing against the team that quit on him, and spoken extensively about the negativity he’s associated with them. But now that he’s had time away from the organization and reflected on the lifelong friendships he made there, he’s ready to approach Sunday’s matchup as if it were any other.