A year after leaving Patriots for Bears, Akiem Hicks has no regrets

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

When he became a free agent last year, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks had an offer to stay in New England. But he had a better offer to go to Chicago, and that’s the one he took.

As it turned out, he played for a three-win team in Chicago, whereas he would have a Super Bowl ring if he had stayed in New England. So does he regret it?

‘‘Not in the slightest,’’ he said. ‘‘Because one of the reasons I came here was . . . a chance to rebuild. I had a chance to be a part of something growing. Being a prominent player [on the Patriots], I enjoyed that aspect of it. I think it’s going to benefit me going forward.’’

Hicks did acknowledge, however, that he thinks playing on a bad team cost him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

‘‘I will say this: I know there’s a couple of guys that went to the Pro Bowl last year at the defensive end/defensive interior position that I’ve made way more plays and played better than. That’s just part of the game,” he said. “There’s going to be guys that get in if they have the right city, the right time, the right things going on. And team wins play a big part in that. The more success for your team, the more spotlight gets put on you. [But] I do compare myself as one of the better defensive interior guys in the league.’’

The Patriots have managed to convince some players to take less money to play for the best-run team in the league. Hicks was not one of those players. If he has any second thoughts, he’s not admitting it.

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