Could Bears DT Akiem Hicks be traded later this offseason?

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Earlier this offseason, there were rumors floating around that the Chicago Bears were looking to trade defensive tackle Akiem Hicks in order to free up salary cap space.

Those rumors eventually fizzled out, as Brad Biggs reported that Hicks would remain on the roster for the final year of his contract.

But according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, a potential Hicks trade isn’t entirely off the table. In fact, he believes things could heat up closer to training camp.

Chicago has allowed Hicks and agent Drew Rosenhaus to gauge trade interest, as the Chicago Tribune reported in March. There are no recent developments here. For now, he’s still a Bear.

Some teams believe Hicks is a top-five interior disruptor, but his age (31) could prevent them from giving up draft capital and signing him to a new deal. Hicks, a 2022 free agent, is due a total of $10.5 million this year.

This one could heat up closer to training camp.

Hicks is entering the final year of his contract, where he’s due to earn $10.5 million in 2021. But keeping Hicks in place helps keep stability on the defensive line.

The defensive line will look familiar in 2021, led by Hicks, Bilal Nichols and the return of Eddie Goldman. The Bears re-signed Mario Edwards earlier this offseason to a three-year deal to keep a key reserve in place, and they also added Angelo Blackson, who signed a two-year deal, in free agency.

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