Bears, DE Akiem Hicks discussing contract extension

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Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks is entering the final year of his contract. (AP)

BOURBONNAIS — Defensive end Akiem Hicks wants a contract extension.

He could get his wish.

The Bears and Hicks are engaged in discussions about a possible extension on the eve of training camp, sources told the Sun-Times. Hicks, entering the last season of a two-year contract, is coming off the best season of his career.

Earlier in the day, Hicks said he wanted to get a new contract and retire as a Bear.

“I love the city, man,” he said. “I feel like it’s funny because I was coming to Chicago long before I played for the Bears.

‘‘My mother’s from here. I know when I was a free agent and my mom found out that — I’m a momma’s boy, obviously — Chicago was a team that was interested in me, she was ecstatic. She was excited. She wanted me to be here. She wanted to be able to come here and see her son play in her home city. . . .

“I just enjoy my time here, and I’m completely open to ending my career here.”

Did he think it could get done?

“I really can’t speak too much about it, but I know this: I know that I’m interested in playing here for a long time,” Hicks said.

Drew Rosenhaus, Hicks’ agent, was spotted on campus at Olivet Nazarene University late Wednesday.

Asked about an extension for Hicks, general manager Ryan Pace said earlier Wednesday that the Bears “keep those things internal.”

Sitton out

Guard Josh Sitton will not report to camp until Saturday because his wife recently gave birth, coach John Fox said. The Bears plan to “fool around with” switching Sitton to right guard and Kyle Long to left guard.

“It’s something we’ll play with,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t know that I would make it earth-shattering.’’

Humble hero

Linebacker Jerrell Freeman said he still is in touch with Marcus Ryan, whom he saved from choking by using the Heimlich maneuver Sunday at an Austin (Texas) airport food court.

“It was just something that needed to be done,” Freeman said. “It was pretty simple — like one plus one. If I wasn’t there, I’m sure somebody else would’ve done it, I would hope.

“He’s still thanking me. I’m still letting him know [that] anybody would’ve done it, man — hopefully. It’s humanity. That’s what it is.”

Hicks came up with an appropriate do-it-all tagline for Freeman, who led the Bears in tackles last season: “Making tackles and saving lives,” Hicks said.

Tickets required

For fans planning to attend training-camp practices, the Bears have a new policy by which all fans must have a ticket to enter — they are free and can be downloaded or printed out via the team’s website: http://www.chicagobears.com/events/training-camp.html.

The Bears’ first practice begins at 11:15 a.m. Thursday at Olivet Nazarene University. Their first practice in pads is at 11:15 a.m. Saturday.

Contributing: Patrick Finley

Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

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